The UFC, Messi, Ronaldo And The Other Stories You Might Have Missed This Weekend

From a bloodbath in the Octagon to a Premier League forward's F1 debut
11:32, 11 May 2020

While many of us spent the Bank Holiday weekend in our gardens desperately trying to make the most of the 45 minutes of daily sunshine, waiting in hot anticipation for Boris Johnson’s new lockdown measures, the world of sport was as crazy as ever with the UFC returning in typically bloody fashion and Premier League stars making impressive e-sports debuts.

Below are five sporting stories you may have missed this extended weekend…

Tony Ferguson Beaten By Gaethje At UFC 249 - But What A Beast!

Dana White succeeded in bringing back the Ultimate Fighting Championship this weekend and the headline event between Tony Ferguson and Justin ‘the most violent man in the world’s most violent sport’ Gaethje proved that you don’t need thousands of fans to provide a thrilling spectacle.

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Gaethje ensured Ferguson left the Octagon a battered mess, ending his 12-fight winning streak in the process when Gaethje stopped him on Saturday night, breaking his eye socket along the way. Ferguson came away triumphant even in defeat, thanks to the heroics he displayed amidst a bloodbath.

Testament to how loco the lightweight is, a video surfaced on Monday morning of the fighter dancing around his hospital room, as if nothing had happened. The performance even caught the attention of long-time rival Khabib Nurmagomedov, whom he’s been scheduled to fight a whopping five times.

The Russian wrote on Twitter: “Whatever happened is in the past. Heads up Tony, I hope everything is good with you and your family. When your son grow up [sic], he’ll be proud with [sic] you.”

Arsene Wenger Talks Lionel Messi And Cristiano Ronaldo’s Heir

After Wenger’s 22 long, glittering years in charge of Arsenal came to an end in 2018, the Frenchman has been very much in demand when it comes to his views on the game and few can capture an audience’s attention like Wenger, such is his obvious in-depth knowledge for the beautiful game.

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This weekend he was asked who would take on the mantle when the legendary Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo do eventually hang up their boots and while Wenger believes a French compatriot is the clear frontrunner for the title, England also have a few names in the running, too. 

Speaking to TalkSport, he said: “These players are now getting towards the end [of their careers] – Ronaldo, Messi – but it’s now about the next generation.

“The next generation is maybe French. At the moment, the leading player could be Mbappe, of course Neymar, that we know, but England as well.

"England has a good chance now; they are doing very well at youth level. They have done well with Gareth Southgate at the World Cup. I was hoping that at the European Championship they could be one of the contenders.”

Coronavirus Scuppers Dynamo Dresden’s Return

With news that the Bundesliga and the rest of the German leagues would return on May 16, many of us dropped to our knees, screamed ‘Thank you’ to the heavens and began a long search for a new team to support.

Unfortunately, anyone who picked Dynamo Dresden out of a hat will have to wait a bit longer, with the Bundesliga 2 outfit having to go into quarantine after two of their players tested positive for Covid-19.

Ralf Minge, Dynamo's sporting director said: "In the past few weeks, we have made enormous efforts in terms of personnel and logistics in order to strictly implement all the prescribed medical and hygienic measures.

"We are in contact with the responsible health authority and the DFL to coordinate all further steps.

"The fact is that we can neither train nor participate in the game in the next 14 days."

While the rest of the German footballing calendar looks set to return this weekend, Dresden’s omission will come as a blow to any notion that getting football back up and running will be a smooth journey.

Sergio Aguero Shows Striker’s Instincts On Virtual F1 Debut

With coronavirus playing havoc with the sporting calendar, athletes from all corners of the sports world have turned to E-sports to give them a competitive fix. The Virtual F1 has been a roaring success since self-isolation began and this weekend saw Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero take part in the Spanish GP.

The Cityzen, driving for Red Bull alongside the winner of the previous race Alex Albon, made a commendable start to life in the fast lane, finishing 14th, even more incredibly ahead of actual McLaren Formula One driver, Lando Norris.

Pace, passing, and a strong finish. Aguero definitely has a striker’s finish in the hot seat. 

Eddie Hearn Drones On About Boxing Behind-Closed-Doors

The UFC isn’t the only combat sport gearing up to resume business as usual. The BBBofC last week announced guidelines for the sport should it return behind-closed-doors in July and over the weekend, promoter Eddie Hearn spoke to BBC 5Live about how that might look.

"Some promoters are doing it in a studio, I'm doing something a bit quirky, it's outdoors and it's gonna look spectacular…  I want drones flying over the top of this facility we're talking about, have our own fireworks."

One fight that looks set to go behind-closed-doors in July is the all-British bust-up between Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce - fingers crossed that won’t need fireworks.