‘Who says no to a title shot?!’ UFC champ Kamaru Usman SLAMS Conor McGregor and Jorge Masvidal for not stepping up to face him

UFC welterweight champion of the world Kamaru Usman is certainly an intimidating test for any fighter at 170 pounds, but even he’s surprised that nobody has stepped forward to challenge him for his belt.

Usman finished former interim champion Colby Covington at UFC 245 last December to cement his position at the top of the UFC’s welterweight division.

But since then, while there has been only talk of a possible title defense, nothing has been signed and sealed.

It seemed like the logical matchup would put Usman with the UFC’s “BMF” champ, Jorge Masvidal, who also competes at 170 pounds. But despite the paid trading verbal jabs in the media over the last few months, that fight now seems less likely.

That’s because Masvidal’s recent social media posts have seen him turn his attention to the man he defeated for the “BMF” belt, Nate Diaz, whom he stopped on cuts during their fight at Madison Square Garden at UFC 244.

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‘Come to daddy’: Kamaru Usman’s manager offers Conor McGregor welterweight title shot as Jorge Masvidal targets Nate Diaz rematch

After that fight, and the somewhat anticlimactic conclusion, Masvidal promised Diaz a rematch in the cage. And now, instead of facing Usman for the undisputed UFC title, it seems a rematch with Diaz may now be “Gamebred’s” more likely route.

With the Masvidal fight seemingly ebbing away, Usman, through his manager Ali Abdelaziz, took a different tack, and suggested that the UFC champ could offer a huge opportunity to the sport’s biggest star, Conor McGregor, who this week set Twitter ablaze with his MMA Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) opinions.

A fight between Usman and McGregor would give the defending champ a big payday against the sport’s biggest draw, and would also see McGregor get the chance to make UFC history and become the promotion’s first-ever three-division champion.

However, despite being active on social media earlier in the week, McGregor has been noticeably silent since Usman’s offer.

It’s left the UFC welterweight champion puzzled, and wondering if his two big rivals actually want any part of him at all.

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Conor McGregor (C) drew responses from Nate Diaz (L) and Khabib (R) with his GOATs of MMA list. © Reuters / USA Today Sports
Getting their GOAT: McGregor triggers Khabib, Diaz into Twitter barbs after Irishman’s ‘all-time greats of MMA’ list

Speaking to ESPN, Usman said he had a message to both McGregor and Masvidal following their apparent snubs.

“This is what I have to say to both guys. Both guys are now champions of Twitter, typing stuff up on Twitter – that’s what both guys are champions of, talking sh*t on Twitter,” he said.

“In the history, who has ever said no to a title shot? I’m that only guy, I’m that boogeyman, that these guys are saying to a title shot for. And they better remain quiet, because we’ve seen.

“Jorge Masvidal, you’ve had the opportunity. April 18, you had the opportunity, you said no. May 9, you had the opportunity, you said no. June you said no and now July. You want to fight Nate, a fight that wasn’t competitive.

“And Conor, you said you wanted to be the king of the 170 division, now you’re quiet. So, you know what? Just remain quiet. That’s what I expect.

“I’ve given both of you guys a shot, and none of you guys wanna take it.”

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‘He must want to die’: UFC champion Kamaru Usman dismisses Conor McGregor challenge

China to launch digital yuan next year to replace cash

The People’s Bank of China has revealed plans to have its sovereign digital currency ready in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics. The announcement comes as the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated a shift away from paper money.

Limited trials are already underway in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and the Xiongan New Area in the northern province of Hebei, said the central bank’s governor Yi Gang. He told reporters that China’s government plans to run pilot tests at Olympic venues, though there remains no official timetable for a release.

An unnamed member of the State Council with knowledge of the project told the Nikkei Asia Review that If the government is satisfied with the results of this year’s tests, the currency “will be issued next year.” Otherwise, “more tests will be conducted next year,” he said.

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China’s digital yuan will displace US dollar’s hegemony & bitcoin will join race, investor tells RT’s Keiser Report

The digital yuan will be linked to the holder’s smartphone number, with transactions taking place through an app. Users will be able to transfer money between accounts by tapping phones, much like having physical cash change hands. The currency will be legal tender, so it could be exchanged without needing a bank as an intermediary.

The size of transactions would be limited based on identity verification. A phone number alone would permit only small transactions, while providing proof of identity or a photo of a debit card would raise the limit. Speaking with a bank representative in person could allow for the cap to be removed entirely. Suspected criminal activity will be uncovered via transaction histories. 

According to Eddie Yue, chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, it has become easier to use and popularize new payment technologies since growing coronavirus concerns make consumers prefer digital currencies to physical cash.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Fan in sexist rant against WWE star Alexa Bliss issues apology after receiving DEATH THREATS from fans (VIDEO)

A YouTube loudmouth who claimed that ex-Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss was “one of those women that just lays there and just takes it” has backtracked, accusing female wrestlers and “social justice warriors” of a “witch hunt”.

SmackDown star Bliss had to endure a vulgar video rant from a popular YouTuber known as JDFromNY206, making distasteful claims to more than 116,000 subscribers that the 28-year-old was “all look and no substance whatsoever,” both in the ring and (he assumes) between the sheets.

The spiteful outburst has received more than 570,000 views, causing Bliss to blast back and receive vehement support from fellow female wrestlers including SmackDown competitor and former MMA fighter Sonya Deville, who warned she would exact revenge should she “run into this dude one day.”

Now the YouTube personality, who calls himself the International Wrestling Cartel (IWC) Messiah, has told people to “be kind”, has been forced to shut down his Instagram and issued an apology after claiming that he had received death threats and his parents had been targeted by hateful phone calls and texts that “crossed the f*****g line”.

He originally said: “I guarantee you she’s one of those women that just lays there and just takes it. Nothing, she does nothing. Can you imagine?

“Can you imagine being in bed with Alexa Bliss, man? And she performs the same way she does in the ring? Awful. All look and no substance whatsoever.”

Bliss called his vitriol “disgraceful”, accusing her critic of solely seeking attention by abusing her.

“He’s been blocked forever on my end,” she added.

“He’s just one of those people who talks crap behind a microphone while waiting in line for pictures.”

Former Divas and NXT Women’s Champion Paige slammed the wrestling fan’s words as “the problem right here.”

“Cyberbullying is not okay,” she said. “What a disgrace…shame on you, JD.”

Before his apology, JD accused Deville of hypocrisy over bullying, told Paige she had misinterpreted his support for women’s wrestling and pointed out to one fan: “I literally explained how Alexa Bliss does no work, which is fact, in her tag team matches.

“[I] applied it to a couple with one partner not doing much to make it an enjoyable experience. If you find this to be derogatory, bro, you may have a problem.

“Alexa Bliss is a fictional character on TV. I made a joke about her lack of input on a tag team match. If I said Alexis Kaufman, different story. Fictional character.”

He then continued to chastise Bliss in a series of tweets attacking her for the abuse he received from her fans.

“Big ‘pro wrestler’ plays victim, claims bullying and all the anti-bully social justice warriors proceed to bully who she tweeted about.

“But please, pretend you’re ‘anti-bully’. You and the show you’re performing on are terrible TV. I do what I do for people to laugh and understand that.

“You are a woman of power and do nothing with it to make you, the act or the division better. You’re a selfish individual who doesn’t care who succeeds around them but you and who you like.

“Instead of an Instagram selfie that will net 100,000 likes, be better at your profession.”

Bliss urged her Twitter following of more than 1.4 million to be kind after a fan wrote: “Practice what you preach.

“Be a star and inform your psychopathic homicidal fans that sending death threats to a guy and his family is not okay. Don’t be hypocrites.”

Tweeting a variety of grotesque threats purportedly aimed at himself and his family, JD responded to one of his supporters by saying: “Sadly, nobody will listen.

“The witch hunt from that women’s locker room has turned into the very thing that supposedly are against: bullying.”

However, after considering his original comments, and his subsequent response to the critics of them, the podcaster issued what seemed a full and contrite apology to Bliss, her fellow female wrestlers and those people who were offended by his comments.

And he later thanked viewers for their “amazing feedback” on the video that contained his apology.

“I ain’t going nowhere,” he said.

“Gonna continue to bring you the best.”

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UK health regulator BANS labs from processing coronavirus home testing kits

Health authorities in the UK have banned laboratories from processing samples taken from coronavirus antibody home testing kits sold by Superdrug and online pharmacies amid concerns over “unreliable results.”

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has advised Britons to ignore the test results as they are not approved by the government. 

“We are asking all providers of laboratory-based Covid-19 antibody testing services using capillary blood collected by a fingerprick to temporarily stop providing this service until home collection of this sample type has been properly validated for use with these laboratory tests,” an MHRA Spokesperson said as cited by the Daily Mail.

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Boris Johnson © UK Parliament / Handout via Reuters / Jessica Taylor
Boris Johnson’s approval rating PLUMMETS by 20 points after refusing to sack Cummings for lockdown breaches

Blood samples from privately bought antibody tests are aimed to tell users if they have had the virus at any point in the past (antigen tests determine whether a person is currently infected) and are currently available to buy online from around £60 to £70. High street giants Superdrug and Lloyds both sell home finger-prick antibody test services.  

The test appears to be caught up in a web of bureaucratic red tape, and it’s part-approved by health authorities – but the method of sampling, the finger pricking, is not. 

“The public need to be aware that those tests are not the same as those we have evaluated and approved for use,” Professor John Newton, the British government’s testing chief, warned last week. 

“The laboratory-based tests have a much higher standard of accuracy. We wouldn’t recommend at the moment that people rely on the tests that are becoming widely available.”

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FILE PHOTO: A man looks at a vial of his blood drawn at a New York facility testing for antibodies to the coronavirus.
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Meanwhile, the UK government has confirmed the purchase of 10 million approved antibody tests from pharma giant Roche, though these will be rolled out in hospitals and care homes first, and then administered among essential workers before reaching the wider population. 

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‘Nice little change’: Yulia Efimova’s chief rival Lilly King trains in POND during coronavirus crisis

US swimming champion and Yulia Efimova’s chief rival Lilly King has found an unusual way to keep fit during the COVID-19 crisis: training in a pond in Indiana.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist and other US swimmers swapped an indoor swimming pool for a natural pond after being unable to practice at the University of Indiana’s facilities due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected all major sporting events.

READ MORE: In the pink: Russian swim star Efimova poses in pool with flamingo as she soaks up California sun (PHOTOS)

Definitely never thought I would be swimming open water,” King said of her outdoor training experience, “But it’s kind of been a nice little change here.”

King, the world record holder, was expected to fight for yet another Olympic crown with Russian star Efimova, their rivalry having achieved epic status at women’s breaststroke events.

With the Tokyo Olympics being rescheduled until next summer, however, the highly anticipated battle between the two rivals has been postponed for a year.

Efimova, who lives and trains in Florida, also found a unique way to train during the COVID-19 lockdown, using her kitchen table as a “swimming device.”

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