Who will Conor McGregor fight next? (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Who will Conor McGregor fight next? (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Conor McGregor has made a strange request for his next fight, calling for an MMA exhibition bout with Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, who lost to Floyd Mayweather in 139 seconds on New Year’s Eve.

Mayweather – a recent rival of the erratic McGregor – made $13 million for the boxing exhibition at RIZIN 14 in the Saitama Super Arena near Tokyo.

Perhaps more interested in the payday than in returning to the UFC octagon, McGregor tweeted his desire to fight the 20-year-old Japanese.

“I wish to go to Tokyo to face Tenshin Nasukawa in a Mixed Martial Arts exhibition bout,” McGregor said.

“Before this summer. Please arrange this, this instant. Yours sincerely The champ champ.”

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White told TMZ Sports: “Later this month, Jon Jones will file an application for licensure with the NSAC in order to compete at UFC 235 in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 2nd.

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“Provided that license is granted, Jones will be defending his light heavyweight title against Anthony Smith in a 5-round main event at the T-Mobile Arena.”

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But that’s not all.

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Per ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the UFC have already signed off on the co-main event.

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Tyron Woodley vs. Kamaru Usman is a done deal for UFC 235 on 3/2, sources say. If all goes according to plan the fight will serve as co-main for Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith. However, unlike Woodley-Usman, Jones-Smith isn’t signed yet. Jones has to get his license on 1/29 first.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 6, 2019

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In the end, while Colby Covington was ready to go for 235, UFC chose to go with Usman because his stock rose mightily in their eyes after the RDA win + his subsequent willingness to fight anyone on short notice in January despite being injured. Covington held out and it cost him.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 6, 2019

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After months of drama, possibly Dana White’s least favourite champion, Tyron Woodley, will defend his welterweight belt for the first time since dismantling Darren Till last September.

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Woodley, who has drawn criticism for his inactivity, will reportedly fight No.2 ranked contender, Kamaru Usman, for the 170-pound belt; not the match-up with Colby Covington that was first speculated.

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The main and co-main event headline what was already looking like an incredible card, with Robbie Lawler in line to fight the organisation’s newest star, Ben Askren, and Jeremy Stephens taking on the unique Zabit Magomedsharipov test.

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CONFIRMED UFC 235 FIGHTS (per UFC website)

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Robbie Lawler vs. Ben Askren — welterweight

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Jeremy Stephens vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov — featherweight

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Holly Holm vs. Aspen Ladd — bantamweight

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Gina Mazany vs. Macy Chiasson — bantamweight

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Ovince Saint Preux vs. Misha Cirkunov — light heavyweight

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