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to handle inside. CeCe Jef

  • 17 Apr
    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. Jonathan Marchessault Jersey . 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The 31-year-old Spain midfielder hasnt played since Madrid lost in the Copa del Rey final to Atletico Madrid in May due to back and foot injuries. GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida coach Jim McElwain insists hes simply playing to the strengths of his team. Its the polite way of saying his defense is significantly better than his offense.Nonetheless, its working for the No. 10 Gators.Floridas defense is ranked second in the country and coming off a fourth game in which it held an opponent under 200 total yards . With the exception of one half -- the second half at Tennessee in September -- the Gators have been downright dominant on that side of the ball.Youve got to adjust as coaches to give your team -- whatever team that is that given year -- the best opportunity to win, McElwain said. And thats kind of what were doing.It essentially means Florida (6-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) can win without having to do too much offensively. Its probably not ideal for a fan base that was spoiled by Steve Spurrier and Tim Tebow. But the Gators are seemingly best suited to protect the ball, be patient, play a field-position game and take calculated risks at opportune times.The plan could be tested Saturday at Arkansas (5-3, 1-3), which is coming off a bye week that followed a 53-point loss at Auburn.Its an important game for the Gators, who sit atop the Eastern Division and need to win two of their remaining three in SEC play to secure a spot in the leagues championship game for the second straight season.A road victory surely would help Florida garner a little more respect, too. Sure, the Gators are ranked in the top 10 for the first time in nearly a year. But consistent offensive struggles have them widely regarded as one of the countrys more overrated teams.Losing to the Volunteers didnt help, especially after cornerbacks Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson provided bulletin-board material before the game.I personally believe you earn your respect with how you play, quarterback Luke Del Rio said. We learned the hard way you cant talk yourself up to be a great team. So weve kind of shuut up and let our play do the talking.ddddddddddddThe defense has done that and more lately, helping Florida win three in a row.Tabor and Wilson look like the best cornerback tandem in the country. Linebacker Jarrad Davis, the teams top tackler and vocal leader, took his game to another level against Georgia while playing through an ankle injury. And now that the Gators are healthy along the defensive line, they have the talent and depth to match up with just about anybody.Caleb Brantley has become hard to handle inside. CeCe Jefferson has grown more comfortable at end. And Jabari Zuniga, who has five sacks, has been the surprise of the defensive front.Together, they forced Georgia into seven three-and-outs in 13 possessions. Two other drives ended with failed fourth-down attempts.It definitely shows us who we are, Davis said. It gives us a reassurance as to our identity. I mean we definitely know were a good team, you know. ... Were the Florida Gators. We need to prepare like the Florida Gators. That name holds a lot of weight, a lot of respect in this country.Maybe so. But McElwain was quick to defend his guys after managing just 231 yards against the Bulldogs. It was quite possibly an effort to help his players believe in themselves despite the offensive woes.For now, it seems to be working.Look at the last couple national champions, Del Rio said. Even in the NFL, look whos winning Super Bowls. They have great defenses. Its hard to win when you cant stop people. Everybody can score. The Big 12 probably leads the nation in scoring every year, but theyre usually not in the national conversation because defense is still of the utmost importance.From high school, college, NFL, youve got to be able to stop them. Were lucky that we can do that.---More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org ' ' '