Conor McGregor accepts super-fight with UFC legend Anderson Silva

Conor McGregor is open to a fight with UFC legend Anderson Silva.

Former middleweight champion Silva, widely considered of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time, made the proposal on Thursday.

The Brazilian suggested the rivals fight at a catchweight of 80kg, around three kilograms heavier than McGregor was when he beat Donald Cerrone in January.

In responding to McGregor's labelling him the greatest of all time, Silva said: "I have an immense admiration for the great athlete Conor and I believe that a super fight would be something historic for the sport.

"Neither of us need to prove anything to anyone; I believe UFC and sport fans would like to see this great martial show, testing my martial skills with him would be fantastic!"

Taking to Twitter, McGregor responded simply, "I accept".

Silva, 45, has lost his last two fights in the UFC, to Jared Cannonier and Israel Adesanya and has been out of action for more than 12 months.

McGregor is struggling for an opponent for his next bout, likely to be in July, after Justin Gaethje set up a shot at lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov by beating Tony Ferguson.

McGregor had been linked with welterweight ruler Kamaru Usman but UFC president Dana White has ruled out that fight.

That would leave a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz but he has expressed an interest in taking on Jorge Masvidal in a rematch.

The Dubliner was last in action in January when he stopped Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds.

A potential summer fight with Gaethje fell by the wayside after the American's stunning win over Ferguson.

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Fight card set for UFC Fight Night next Saturday

  • MMA columnist for
  • Analyst for “MMA Live”
  • Covered MMA for Las Vegas Sun

The UFC has announced its full lineup for a UFC Fight Night event on May 30, which is expected to take place at the company’s Apex facility in Las Vegas.

UFC president Dana White confirmed a welterweight bout between former champion Tyron Woodley (19-4-1) and Gilbert Burns (18-3) will headline the card, which is scheduled to air on ESPN and ESPN+.

The location is subject to change until May 27, when the Nevada State Athletic Commission is scheduled to formally vote on re-opening the state to combat sports. NSAC officials indefinitely suspended all combat sports in mid-March.

Other notable matchups on the card include a welterweight bout between Kevin Holland (17-5) and Daniel Rodriguez (11-1). Holland, 27, just defeated Anthony Hernandez via first-round TKO in Jacksonville, Florida on May 16. The 14-day turnaround will be tied for the second-shortest break between fights in UFC history.

Women’s strawweight prospect Mackenzie Dern (7-1) will make her second appearance since giving birth to her daughter last year, as she’s scheduled to face Hannah Cifers (10-4).

The full lineup:

  • Featherweight: Chris Gutierrez vs. Vince Morales

  • Bantamweight: Louis Smolka vs. Casey Kenny

  • Flyweight: Tim Elliott vs. Brandon Royval

  • Llght Heavyweight: Jamahal Hill vs. Klidson Abreu

  • Catchweight (150 pounds): Billy Quarantilo vs. Spike Carlyle

  • Flyweight: Katlyn Chookagian vs. Antonina Shevchenko

  • Strawweight: Mackenzie Dern vs. Hannah Cifers

  • Lightweight: Brok Weaver vs. Roosevelt Roberts

  • Welterweight: Kevin Holland vs. Daniel Rodriguez

  • Heavyweight: Blagoy Ivanov vs. Augusto Sakai

  • Welterweight: Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns

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Conor McGregor praises UFC’s COVID-19 measures ahead of UFC on ESPN 9

Conor McGregor has praised the UFC for their COVID-19 measures during the global pandemic. The promotion became the first major sporting organisation to return to action during the coronavirus lockdown last weekend.

Mixed martial arts’ premier organisation returned last Sunday with their fourth pay-per-view card of the year – UFC 249 – and a follow up show – UFC Fight Night 175 – on Thursday.

The promotion went to extreme measures to facilitate the shows – which took place behind closed doors at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida – implementing strict testing for fighters and their teams and introducing stern social distancing measures.

So for, only one fighter has tested positive for COVID-19 that – that athlete being Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza.

Souza was diagnosed with the coronavirus 24 hours before his middleweight bout with Uriah Hall, which was immediately cancelled.

JUST IN: Justin Gaethje tells Conor McGregor why he’s snubbing him

There is light at the end of this tunnel people!

Conor McGregor on Twitter

The UFC’s measures to insure fighter and staff safety, which has come at a high price, has impressed many – although there have been some critics of their methods.

McGregor is well and truly part of the former group, praising the promotion for their efforts ahead of Sunday morning’s Fight Night card in Jacksonville.

“UFC on again tonight!” the former two-division champion tweeted on Saturday night. “Incredible! 3 shows in a week without a hitch.

“Only the 1 team tested positive pre-fight but was discovered before any risk of further contamination. There is light at the end of this tunnel people!


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“For sports! For schools! For businesses! Let’s go!!”

Prior to UFC 249, McGregor’s manager – Audie Attar – revealed the Irishman would be keeping a close eye on the UFC’s anti-coronavirus measures before determining if he’ll fight in the summer.

‘The Notorious’ was seemingly impressed by what he saw, recently tweeting: “See you in July.”

McGregor, 31, was last in action in January in the main event of UFC 246 in Las Vegas, where he locked horns with Donald Cerrone in a welterweight match-up.

The Dubliner’s comeback fight didn’t last long, though, as he decimated ‘Cowboy’ in 40 seconds to claim his first victory in over three years.

McGregor is keen to return to his active ways this year, setting his sights on two more outings before the end of 2020.

Currently in his crosshairs is newly-crowned interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, though ‘The Highlight’ has his sights on a unification fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“If I want to fight Conor, I can fight Conor,” the former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion told ESPN. “Believe me. Why wouldn’t Dana [White] put that together? But that’s not the fight I want. His only ploy is he’s Mr. Red Panty Night. Not everyone is a greedy motherf***er like him.”

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Conor McGregor SLAMMED by UFC rival Justin Gaethje

Conor McGregor SLAMMED by UFC rival Justin Gaethje who says Irish star ‘is on his knees’ and is ‘losing his clout’ after he told American he would ‘butcher’ him

  • Justin Gaethje stopped Tony Ferguson in just five rounds on Saturday night 
  • Conor McGregor soon called him out and teased a potential showdown in July 
  • UFC president Dana White says Gaethje will be facing Khabib Nurmagomedov 

Justin Gaethje has dismissed the idea of a fight with Conor McGregor this summer, claiming the Irishman is ‘on his knees’ and ‘losing his clout’.

Gaethje blew the lightweight division open ad he claimed the interim title with his brutal win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on Saturday night.  

Thew victory put Gaethje in pole position to take on undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov but McGregor was quick to throw his name into the discussion. 

Justin Gaethje has hit out at Conor McGregor and dismissed a fight with him this summer

Referring to Nurmagomedov’s mauling style, McGregor said: ‘Justin, there is no danger in a man that hugs legs, we all know. Try and dance around what the real threat is here all you want. I am going to f****** butcher you. Your teeth. I’m going to put them on a f****** necklace.’

McGregor then went on to claim he was ‘super excited for the lightweight title bout in July’ but Gaethje insists the Irishman will be involved in no such bout.    

‘Isn’t it ironic that this dude is on his knees,’ the American said on Twitter, accompanied by a video montage of all the times he had called out McGregor in the past.   

McGregor called out Gaethje following his win and said that he would ‘butcher’ him 

The tables have now turned and Gaethje believes his rival should be more focused on a fellow top contender. 

‘Careful Conor McGregor you are losing your clout,’ he continued. ‘Dustin Poirier is sitting there ready to go like I was for the last three years.’   

UFC president Dana White says the plan is for Gaethje to face Nurmagomedov later this year. 

‘I talked to Khabib today, Khabib told me he’d be ready in September,’ he said on Sportnet’s Tim & Sid.

Gaethje has gone from trying to secure the big fights to holding all the aces in negotiations  

‘Earlier today, I had said [he could fight] this summer, because we were texting back and forth last night and it sounded to me like he was ready to go, but he’s said September.’ 

‘Obviously Gaethje and Khabib is going to happen, looks like that’s going to happen in September,’ White continued. ‘

And we’ll figure out what’s next for Conor. Conor will probably fight this summer, then you have [Gaethje-Khabib] fight in September, and then that will line up a fight up for the winner.’  

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UFC Fight Night results: Glover Teixeira batters Anthony Smith for TKO win

Glover Teixeira defeated Anthony Smith with a fifth-round TKO in a one-sided light heavyweight bout that headlined the UFC’s Fight Night in Jacksonville, Florida on Wednesday.

Like UFC 249 last weekend, the event was held at a near-empty VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena with stringent health and safety protocols in place due to the COVID-19 crisis that has killed more than 82,000 people in the United States.

Smith came into the fight following a 10-month layoff after two surgeries to his right hand and while he began well it was the 40-year-old Teixeira who was in control.

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Brazil-born Teixeira floored his American rival will a left hand in the third before a big uppercut in the next round left Smith telling his corner that his teeth were falling out.

Smith gamely came out for the fifth round but Teixeira took him to the ground quickly and the referee moved in to stop the fight to save the American from more punishment.

“It’s not how you hit, it’s how hard you get hit and keep coming forward,” Teixeira, who improved his win-loss record to 31-7 and took home a $50,000 bonus for the Performance of the Night, said. “That’s what it’s all about.

“I was hoping (Smith would slow down). The guy hits like a truck, man. But I move my head a lot. I trained so hard.”

The UFC’s next show at Jacksonville is on Saturday night and will be headlined by the heavyweight contest between Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris. Reuters

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Conor McGregor labels UFC rival Khabib Nurmagomedov an ‘absolute embarrassment’

Conor McGregor labelled Khabib Nurmagomedov an "absolute embarrassment" in his latest Twitter rant has he took aim at some of UFC's top stars.

Earlier, McGregor had called out Justin Gaethje, who earned a shot at lightweight champion Nurmagomedov by beating Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 last weekend.

'The Notorious' had said "It's me and Justin next as Khabib is the biggest bottle fighter in the game – guarantee it", adding that Nurmagomedov was "a man that hugs legs".

McGregor followed that up with a message by calling reigning lightweight champion Nurmagomedov "an embarrassment to real fighting".

The Irishman tweeted: "Khabib you absolute embarrassment. Scurrying, hiding rat as usual. As I have said many times. As has been seen many times.

"Through the pane of glass it was confirmed what was always known. 'No comment' lol. An embarrassment to real fighting."

Former two-weight UFC champion McGregor is just one fight into his comeback to the sport, after he beat Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds back in January.

Before that, his last fight was a defeat to Nurmagomedov in October 2018 – which the Russian referenced as he hit back at McGregor.

In response to his rival's tweet, Nurmagomedov posted: "Hug legs? Have you forgot how I knock you down, or you typing tweets drunk?

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UFC 249: Henry Cejudo announces retirement after defending title

Henry Cejudo, in a shocking move, announced his retirement Saturday after retaining his bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249.

Cejudo scored a contentious second-round TKO over Cruz as the UFC returned behind closed doors in Jacksonville, Fla., amid the coronavirus pandemic. The co-main event was stopped at 4:50 of the second round.

UFC 249: Results, highlights from UFC’s return to Octagon

Cejudo, a former flyweight champion, then surprisingly called time on his UFC career.

“I’m happy with my career; I’ve done enough in the sport,” Cejudo, 33, said during his postfight interview inside the Octagon. “I want to walk away; I want to enjoy myself. I’m 33 years old. I have a girl now, a man who’s watching back home. I eventually want to start a family.

“Since I was 11 years old, I sacrificed my whole life to get where I’m at today; I’m not gonna let nobody take that away from me.”

Cruz, a two-time former titleholder, was fighting for the first time in 1,226 days. He was left frustrated by the referee’s decision to stop the bout at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

“I’m not happy with the stoppage because I specifically asked the referee to let me go,” Cruz said. “I was on my way up. I was definitely still aware what was going on. I get there were unanswered blows, that’s part of the fight. You can’t be standing out and be knocked out at the same time.”

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UFC fans stunned as Francis Ngannou DESTROYS Rozenstruik with brutal 20-second KO

Francis Ngannou sent shockwaves around the UFC as he destroyed opponent Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the first round of their clash at UFC 249. The heavyweight contender threw himself into the title mix by wiping out Rozenstruik after landing a devastating combination in the opening minute.

Ngannou has now won his last three fights within the space of 40 seconds.

The Cameroonian destroyer will now go on to fight either Daniel Cormier or Stipe Miocic for the title – with the pair set to rematch at some point soon.

The clash between Ngannou and Rozenstruik was one of the most highly-anticipated fights on the card, with both fighters known for their explosive power.

But few imagined it would be over after the first exchange of punches.

Rozenstruik landed a kick to the legs of Ngannou straight out of the gate, but was on the back foot moments later.

Ngannou landed a wild left hook to the chin of his opponent which instantly knocked him out.

As he fell, Rozenstruik was caught again by a barrage of ferocious punches from Ngannou, who was keen to earn the victory in style.

The 34-year-old continued to deliver a series of crippling punches after crumpling Rozenstruik, putting a rubber stamp on the victory. 

Fight fans were in awe of Ngannou’s performance, and none less than ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson.


  • Justin Gaethje net worth: How much has UFC 249 ace earned?

Tyson posted on Twitter:”Resounding … vicious …. future champ. #FrancesNyngonu 20 second knockout 2nite”

Other fight fans added their thoughts on the ferocious knockout, as one posted: “That’s a scary man.

Another posted: “Francis Ngannou is a bad bad man.”

“At this point who wants to fight Ngannou?” one asked.


  • Dana White provides Conor McGregor Fight Island update ahead

Another joked:”Francis Ngannou murdered a man on national television tonight”

One fan simply wrote: “Absolute beast.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the fight was being held in an empty arena, meaning the sound of each punch was amplified.

Fans were quick to note the sound of Rozenstruik landing against the cage and crumpling to the floor.

One wrote: “So eerie watching that with absolutely no crowd noise”

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Live: UFC 249

Dana White is pushing ahead with UFC 249 even as fighters reacted with shock and sadness to one of their own being struck down by coronavirus.

DC's behind the scenes look at the UFC 249 production

The interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje is the main event at UFC 249 today as Dana White ploughs ahead with the event behind closed doors in Florida amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The UFC boss has been bullish about continuing to schedule fights during the global pandemic but a spanner was thrown into the works yesterday when Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and two of his cornermen tested positive for COVID-19.

His middleweight fight against Uriah Hall on the undercard won’t go ahead, but the rest of the bouts will despite concerns about what the positive test would mean for other fighters.

Hall is upset not to be fighting but his thoughts were with his rival’s wellbeing. “Brother I know it sucks I’m sorry you have to go through this I am beyond devastated for the missed opportunity I wish you nothing but recovery for you and your family,” he wrote on Twitter.

UFC great Michael Bisping said on social media he was “gutted” to hear the news.

Souza attended Saturday’s weigh-in wearing a protective mask and was kept at a distance from Hall, who also had a mask and gloves on. Officials said the other 23 fighters on the card have tested negative.

White insisted before Souza tested positive the production won’t put anyone at risk. “Listen, we have families, too,” White told CNN Sport. “I have a family; I don’t want to hurt my family. I don’t want to die.

“This isn’t just some crazy, this is a well thought-out plan. We’ve had very, very smart people, doctors and people that have been involved with the UFC for a very long time working on this thing non-stop since it started.

“We believe that we have this thing in a place where it can be as safe as it can possibly be.”

The event is scheduled to kick off at 9am AEDT, with the main card expected to get going at around 12pm.

Live Updates

Full fight card

Main card

Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje – interim lightweight title

Henry Cejudo vs Dominic Cruz – bantamweight title

Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik – heavyweight

Jeremy Stephens vs Calvin Kattar – featherweight

Greg Hardy vs Yorgan de Castro – heavyweight

Preliminary card

Donald Cerrone vs Anthony Pettis – welterweight

Alexei Oleinik vs Fabricio Werdum – heavyweight

Carla Esparza vs Michelle Waterson – strawweight

Early preliminary card

Vicente Luque vs Niko Price – welterweight

Bryce Mitchell vs Charles Rosa – featherweight

Ryan Spann vs Sam Alvey – Light heavyweight


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Top 10 knockouts in UFC history – From Conor McGregor to Holly Holm

Conor McGregor’s stunning finish of Jose Aldo, Jorge Masvidal’s flying knee on Ben Askren and magic from Lyoto Machida… Sportsmail’s top 10 KOs in UFC history – but who takes top spot?

  • There have been some spectacular knockouts since the UFC’s first event in 1993 
  • It is almost impossible to agree on a top 10 but the debate is part of the fun  
  • Conor McGregor’s KO of Jose Aldo in 13 seconds will live long in the memory
  • Holly Holm’s devastating head kick on Ronda Rousey was also incredible
  • There was a case for Holm to be No 1 but she came up a bit short… 

It is almost impossible to find a consensus among fight fans over the top 10 knockouts in UFC history given the vast number of spectacular finishes down the years. 

From Conor McGregor’s 13-second KO of Jose Aldo to Holly Holm’s devastating head kick on Ronda Rousey, there have been memorable endings in all weight classes. 

Choosing the best is of course completely subjective but here are Sportsmail’s favourites.  

10. Yair Rodriguez on Chan Sung Jung – R5, 04:59 (2018)

This was one of the most creative, bizarre and jaw-dropping knockouts in recent memory.  

Rodriguez and Jung had fought for 24 minutes and 59 seconds out of the 25-minute main event showdown when the Mexican produced something that had to be watched in slow motion to be believed. 

Down on the cards against his featherweight opponent, he spread his arms to invite Sung Jung into one last flurry, then at the last second dropped his head and threw and elbow from beneath himself, catching ‘Korean Zombie’ on the chin and snatching an incredible win. 

Yair Rodriguez delivered an improbable KO of Chang Sung Jung in the very last second

9. Francis Ngannou on Alistair Overeem – R1, 01:42 (2017)

This was the moment Ngannou established himself as a heavyweight to be feared, with one of the most cartoon-like knockouts in UFC history. 

The ludicrously powerful prospect was on an upward curve but many thought the nous and experience of Overeem could be too much for him. 

But in the first round, Ngannou delivered a thunderous left uppercut that sent his opponent’s head flying backwards and knocked him out cold instantly. Few could argue afterwards that the Cameroon-born Frenchman is not the most powerful puncher in the organisation.

Francis Ngannou showed off his devastating power when he knocked out out Alistair Overeem

8. Dan Henderson on Michael Bisping – R2, 3:20 (2009) 

I’m loathe to include the first and only British UFC champion among the victims on this list but he later exacted revenge on Henderson so this is acceptable. 

Bisping was on the receiving end of the American’s famed ‘H-Bomb’ and there was no coming back. 

Henderson set it up perfectly, bringing the Brit’s hands down with a leg kick and shot to the body before winging an overhand right that landed flush on the chin.  

Dan Henderson (right) separated Michael Bisping from consciousness with a huge right hand

7. Amanda Nunes on Cris Cyborg – R1, 51 seconds (2018)

This clash between two of the greatest female MMA was highly anticipated but Nunes showed she was a class above. 

Cyborg had made a career out of bullying her opponents, landing huge strikes they simply couldn’t withstand but the shoe was on the other foot against the Brazilian. 

It took just 51 seconds for the ‘Lioness’ to have the referee step in. Two left-right combinations put Cyborg on the floor and then Nunes finished up with a gigantic overhand right to remove all doubt.  

Amanada Nunes (left) demolished Cris Cyborg inside the first minute of their title fight

6. Lyoto Machida on Vitor Belfort – R2, 1:00 (2018)

Almost two years ago, Machida delivered one of the coldest KOs and reactions ever seen. 

Belfort, who it has to be said was well past his best, absorbed a front kick to the face that shot out of nowhere, causing him to slump to the canvas. 

Where most fighters would have tried to pile on and land a couple more blows, Machida knew the job was done, put his hands on his hips and stared down at his Brazilian compatriot. He then bowed and sunk to his knees.  

Lyoto Machida dropped to his knees and did not celebrate his amazing KO of Vitor Belfort

5. Edson Barboza on Terry Etin – R3, 2:02 (2012)

In terms of pure technical beauty, this knockout from Barboza has to make the list. 

The former Muay-Thai kickboxer produced one for the highlights reel that you can never tire of watching on loop. It was the first spinning wheel kick KO in the UFC and Etin was the unfortunate recipient. 

Barboza had worn his opponent down and was on course for an easy points victory but then threw a video-game move into the mix, connecting his heel with Etin’s chin. 

Edson Barboza came up with the first spinning wheel kick knockout in UFC history

4. Anderson Silva on Forrest Griffin – R1, 3:23 (2009) 

Silva deserves to feature on this list somewhere given the outrageous skills he used to pick people apart with. 

He was never known for massive knockout power but his timing, shot selection and precision were legendary and best demonstrated in this clinic he put on against Griffin. 

Having already showboated and dropped the UFC Hall of Fame fighter, he put his hands low, spectacularly evaded two more shots before countering to perfection, leaving Griffin sprawled out with his arms outstretched on the mat. 

Anderson Silva showed off everything that made him great when he beat Forrest Griffin (left)

3. Conor McGregor on Jose Aldo – R1, 13 seconds (2015)

McGregor was already a superstar by this point but needed to prove to the world he was as capable as he told everyone he was. 

Aldo was at the peak of his powers and regarded as the best featherweight of all time but the Irishman wound him up and managed to get under his skin during the promotional tour. 

Given all the hype, what happened next was stunning as Aldo lunged forwards early on, McGregor stepped back and put the Brazilian on his back with that famous left hand. It took just 13 seconds and will be replayed on the big screen at UFC events until the end of time.  

Conor McGregor planted his famously powerful left hand on the chin of Jose Aldo (right)

2. Holly Holm on Ronda Rousey – R2, 0:57 (2015)

There is a very strong case to be made for this to be No 1 but it will have to settle for second. 

At the time, Rousey was a global superstar, regarded as a pioneer and the athlete who changed Dana White’s mind about having women compete in the UFC. 

She had torn through the competition, finding a way to execute her signature arm-bar and Holm was a 20/1 underdog with some bookies.  

Then came the kick heard across the world. In front of a massive crowd in Melbourne, ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ disengaged from a tangle with Rousey and threw the head kick before she could react. 

The shin connected flush with the champion’s neck and bottom of the chin, wiping Rousey out and marking the beginning of the end for her MMA career. 

Holly Holm stunned the world with her head kick knockout of Ronda Rousey in 2015

1. Jorge Masvidal on Ben Askren – R1, five seconds (2019)

Anybody who watched this fight live or even caught a replay will not forget it in a hurry. 

Askren had come into the UFC as a much-hyped wrestler and his war of words with Masvidal escalated as their clash edged closer. 

There was huge anticipation and tension in the air come fight night.  The referee pointed to both men and signalled for the fight to begin as Masvidal hung back with his hands relaxed on the cage behind him. 

Suddenly he started moving towards Askren before accelerating into a sprint. The wrestler reverted to instinct and tried to take his man down but Masvidal had planned for that and jumped forwards with a flying knee. Askren was knocked immediately unconscious and it remains the fastest KO is UFC history at just five seconds. 

Jorge Masvidal knocked Ben Askren out cold just five seconds into their fight last year

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