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Dana White: Conor McGregor is one of the biggest stars in the history of combat sports

nt" LAS VEGAS – Dana White doesn’t think Conor McGregor is merely the biggest star in the history of MMA. White put former dual-champ McGregor’s name alongside some of boxing’s biggest stars and legends, as well When taking into consideration his accolades, pay-per-view numbers and his overall impact on...

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LAS VEGAS – Dana White doesn’t think Conor McGregor is merely the biggest star in the history of MMA.

White put former dual-champ McGregor’s name alongside some of boxing’s biggest stars and legends, as well

When taking into consideration his accolades, pay-per-view numbers and his overall impact on the sport, McGregor has become a global icon.

After Wednesday’s UFC 246 news conference, White raved about McGregor, who takes on Donald Cerrone in Saturday’s main event.

“Conor McGregor isn’t the biggest star in the sport – Conor McGregor is one of the biggest stars in the history of combat sports, period,” White told MMA Junkie. “When you mention Conor McGregor’s name, you’re talking (Mike) Tyson, ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard, (Floyd) Mayweather – he’s on that list. He has some of the biggest, and the biggest pay-per-view of all-time. Anybody who wants to speak negatively about this fight or think that this fight is whateve: $10.6 million gate and trending off the charts for pay-per-view. I don’t even listen to this crap anymore.”

A win for McGregor in the welterweight fight against Cerrone could set him up for another lightweight title shot, or even one at 170 pounds.

UFC 246 takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.

Jack Hermansson itching for a fight, calls out Kelvin Gastelum

Jack Hermansson has diverted his attention to another top middleweight contender. Hermansson initially was gunning for a matchup against Darren Till at UFC London, but it appears the UFC has other ideas for Till. That has forced Hermansson to pursue another fight. In an interview with MMA Junkie, Hermansson...

Jack Hermansson has diverted his attention to another top middleweight contender.

Hermansson initially was gunning for a matchup against Darren Till at UFC London, but it appears the UFC has other ideas for Till. That has forced Hermansson to pursue another fight.

In an interview with MMA Junkie, Hermansson (20-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) mentioned the UFC had plans of pitting him against Till in the UFC London main event, but in a recent interview with “The Mac Life,” UFC president Dana White said Till probably won’t be fighting Hermansson.

So Hermansson decided to issue a challenge to former UFC interim middleweight title challenger Kelvin Gastelum (15-5 MMA, 10-5 UFC).

Ok guys, I’m ready to get to get back to business! @KelvinGastelum how is your schedule looking buddy? Let’s give the fans a fun one!”

Hermansson saw his four-fight winning streak snapped at the hands of Jared Cannonier at UFC on ESPN+ 18 this past September. Gastelum has lost his last two – a “Fight of the Year” contender against current UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya and Till at UFC 244 in November.

The UFC is looking for a new opponent for Cannonier, who was originally scheduled to face Robert Whittaker at UFC 248 before Whittaker pulled out. Till has alluded he may be the one to fill in, posting an image of the weather in Las Vegas in March – but then later deleted it.

That could be the reason Hermansson now is targeting Gastelum, but time will tell.

Chris Curtis booked for return fight following two retirements in one night

In October at the PFL’s first playoff event, Chris Curtis fought twice, but came up empty-handed in the win column. In his first fight, Curtis dropped a unanimous decision to Magomed Magomedkerimov. Shortly thereafter, Curtis announced his retirement on Instagram. However, Magomedkerimov was disqualified from the playoff bracket when...

In October at the PFL’s first playoff event, Chris Curtis fought twice, but came up empty-handed in the win column.

In his first fight, Curtis dropped a unanimous decision to Magomed Magomedkerimov. Shortly thereafter, Curtis announced his retirement on Instagram. However, Magomedkerimov was disqualified from the playoff bracket when he fell ill backstage. Curtis was tapped as the replacement.

His next bout was a three-rounder against eventual welterweight winner Ray Cooper III. Eleven seconds into the second round, Cooper connected with a massive right hook. The shot knocked Curtis out cold for the first time in his professional career.

After the second leg of the back-to-back fights in one night, Curtis posted a Facebook status that included the line, “I really am done this time.”

However, Curtis (21-8 MMA) has apparently changed his mind since then. According to a fight announcement on Instagram by MMA promotion Z Promotions, Curtis has un-retired. He’s set to make his return Jan. 25 at Fight Night 12 at Enmax Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

Curtis, 32, is the promotion’s welterweight tournament. He’ll look to snap a three-fight skid when he takes on fellow Californian Darren Smith Jr. (20-10) in the evening’s main event.

The two retirements in October haven’t been the only times Curtis signaled walking away from MMA. After he was passed on being signed by the UFC following a heel kick knockout victory on Dana White’s Contender Series in June 2018, Curtis retired.

On Thursday, Curtis addressed his multiple retirements on Twitter.

Check out the official fight announcement below:

View this post on Instagram

Just announced… The MAIN EVENT for Fight Night 12!!!! Fight Night’s only two division champion @kingofcombat513 comes back to the Fight Night cage to defend his Welterweight championship against Bellator veteran @hollywood3323 Considering @kingofcombat513 last two fights in the Fight Night cage were Fight of the Night performances and @hollywood3323 coming off two dominant stoppage wins. This has #fightofthenight written all over it!!! Tune in live through ppv @fitetv This event takes place live at the @enmaxcentre get your tickets today!!!! #zpromotions #bkb #cbkb #fightnight #combatsports #mma #muaythai #kickboxing #wrestling #enmaxcentre #fightnighttwelve

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