UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez doesnt know what the promotion has in mind for his first title defense.But as far as hes concerned, theres no reason to even discuss potential options until Aug. 20 -- when Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz are scheduled to fight at UFC 202.Its a wait-and-see type thing right now, Alvarez told ESPN.com. Lets wait and see what August 20th brings and then lets make a big fight after that.The UFC recently booked a November clash between highly ranked contenders Rafael dos Anjos and Tony Ferguson. Once that fight was made, many assumed Alvarez (28-4) would draw undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov (23-0), who is ranked right behind him at 155 pounds.Alvarez (28-4), who knocked out dos Anjos in the first round to claim the 155-pound title last month, isnt making any such assumptions. His sights are set on the winner of the nontitle welterweight fight between McGregor and Diaz.Alvarez, 32, says he has little interest in Nurmagomedov, who, despite a perfect record, has just one win in the last two years due to injury. That victory came against UFC newcomer Darrell Horcher in April.Im not sure what the promotions take is, but thats where I stand, Alvarez said. Those are the guys I want to get my hands on. Ive said it from the very beginning: Fighting the best guys in the world doesnt pay as good as the circus. I want to join the circus. Im trying to get that circus money.As far as Nurmagomedov, I just dont get how you become the No. 1 contender without actually fighting guys who are ranked in the top 10. It kind of baffles me. The lightweight division right now is a bunch of guys who fight opponents ranked in the top 30 and never actually take a risk and fight a top-5 guy. I can walk into a restaurant and knock five guys out, become 5-0 real quick. Its about the quality of opponent. You have to beat the right guys to call yourself the No. 1 contender.Alvarez says he wouldnt be so adamant about a McGregor fight if it werent for hearing the Irish fighters name over and over again in recent years. After Alvarezs wins against Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis, he says the name that continued to come up was always McGregors.Even after he defeated dos Anjos for the title, Alvarez says he frequently fielded questions about McGregor.Itd be nice to stop being asked about it, Alvarez said. Its a little bit annoying, you know? I dont look at him the same way I look at and respect a Rafael dos Anjos -- or any of the top guys who fight the real fighters.Diaz, too, though. I was on the assumption I was cool with Nick and Nate Diaz, but there was a switch flipped when I fought Nates teammate, Gilbert Melendez, in Mexico last year. I was getting all this mean mugging. I guess he was angry because I was fighting his friend, as if I gave a s--- or really didnt like his friend. I was there for a check.I tried to get that through to him but he didnt want to hear it. He was very bitter when I won that fight. It is what it is. I still think those guys are good guys, they just are who they are.A native of Philadelphia, Alvarez says he hasnt signed a new contract since winning the UFC title, but expects that to happen shortly. While official plans for his first title defense are up in the air, Alvarez says he is optimistic he could fight in his hometown next year.Well do [a contract extension] very soon, Alvarez said. Im not sure how it will work with the recent sale of the UFC, but Ill have a talk with my manager and whoever takes care of that stuff.I think 2017 is going to be a big year for Philadelphia. Im looking to grab the UFC and pull them back in the direction of Philadelphia. 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LONDON -- Russias hosting of the World Cup is becoming increasingly problematic for FIFAs leaders after the International Olympic Committee withdrew support for sporting events being staged in the doping-tainted nation.The IOCs move followed this weeks second damning World Anti-Doping Agency report, which accused Russia of state-sponsored doping.The scandal landed at FIFAs door after Russian soccer was for the first time implicated in the alleged doping cover-up by a country that has been entrusted with soccers most prestigious event in 2018.Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, whose department is accused of orchestrating the deception, is also head of the countrys soccer federation and is a member of FIFAs ruling council.Soccers governing body is standing by the 2018 hosts -- just as it has done throughout six years of scrutiny since the contentious vote to hand the World Cup to Russia for the first time.Preparations for the World Cup are in full swing, Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putins spokesman, said Wednesday. FIFA said yesterday that they are preparing for the World Cup to be held in Russia.And 2018 is not the only countdown. FIFA is less than 11 months from staging the Confederations Cup, an eight-team warm-up competition, in Russia.Dick Pound, the former WADA president who authored the earlier report on doping in Russian track and field, said FIFA now has another credibility issue to confront following McLarens findings.Still recovering from its own corruption scandals, FIFA is now under the new leadership of President Gianni Infantino and secretary general Fatma Samoura, a newcomer to sports governance but with diplomatic experience from the United Nations.In the last 18 months, FIFA has leaked a lot of oil and has a lot of reputational exposure, Pound, a Canadian lawyer and former IOC vice president, told The Associated Press. (Russia) is one of the ethical exposures they have to wrestle with now it involves doping.The escalating doping scandal is not the only issue to cause problems for Russia, though, as it prepares for the World Cup.The safety of fans attending the tournament is under the spotlight after Russia was threatened with expulsion from the European Championship last month over thee violence perpetrated by hooligans in France.ddddddddddddAnd only this week, Putin ordered organizers in St. Petersburg to speed up construction of the citys troubled World Cup stadium. Putin instructed officials to adopt comprehensive measures to eliminate the gaps in the stadiums construction schedule and gave similar instructions to authorities in Samara and Kaliningrad for their venues.The fact that stadiums are being built for the World Cup should not dictate any discussion about stripping Russia of its hosting rights, according to Pound.There are lots of countries in Europe and elsewhere that could accommodate a World Cup at a couple of years notice, Pound said.When FIFA was asked Wednesday if it retained full confidence and trust in Russia as World Cup hosts, the governing body referred the AP to an earlier statement announcing a full inquiry into the 11 positive tests of Russian soccer players that WADA investigator Richard McLaren said were made to disappear in the state-sponsored doping program from 2011 to 2015.FIFA said it will be in charge of anti-doping programs at the World Cup ensuring the highest standards including the latest science and recommendations by WADA. That will see doping samples flown to laboratories outside Russia during the World Cup for testing.But the IOC, which has announced a series of measures to punish Russian athletes and officials implicated in doping, doesnt believe the country should be hosting any sporting events.In an uncharacteristically tough edict, the IOC executive board ruled Tuesday that it would not organize or give patronage to competitions there for the foreseeable future.Despite those moves, FIFA is still standing by its council member Mutko, who was accused by McLaren of having personally intervened in his role as Russian sports minister to cover up a positive doping test for a foreign player in the Russian Premier League.Perhaps its not a coincidence that the minister of sport is also president of the football federation, Pound said.---Rob Harris can be followed at www.twitter.com/RobHarris and www.facebook.com/RobHarrisReports ' ' '
jj009, 12.06.2019 14:13