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Nick Atkin
Gender Male
Job South China Morning Post Staff Writer
  Sport Journalist
Desc Nick Atkin is a production editor on the South China Morning Post’s sport desk. He was previously a sports writer for ESPN, and can be found on most days trying to think of ways he can pretend professional wrestling is a sport so that he can write about it


Media South China Morning Post
  ESPN [ex]

2019 09 12 Publish

Justin Gaethje is fighting Donald Cerrone in the main event of UFC Vancouver this weekend. But it was a tweet to Conor McGregor that has caused a bigger stir. The American called the Irishman a ‘s*** human, father and husband’, responding to McGregor’s demand for a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov on social media

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, has shut down any chance of Conor McGregor getting another crack at the UFC lightweight champion. ‘The Notorious’ called for a rematch - even suggesting Moscow for the location - after the Russian retained his title with a third-round submission of Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi last weekend. UFC president Dana White suggested a McGregor rematch ‘makes sense’ if No 1-ranked Tony Ferguson doesn’t want the fight. But Ali Abdelaziz has shut down that notion

Conor McGregor made a grovelling apology on ESPN last month after footage leaked of him punching an elderly patron of a Dublin pub who had refused a shot of his Proper No 12 whiskey. He has made negative headlines this year after smashing a fan’s phone on the ground outside a Miami nightclub

2019 09 13 Publish

Russian president, Vladimir Putin, congratulates UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, in Makhachkala meeting after win over Dustin Poirier. Khabib says he fought opponent who ‘respected me’, and Putin responds: ‘A top-level athlete is supposed to be like that’

Khabib Nurmagomedov also grabbed an extra US$50,000 for the performance of the night, submitting ‘The Diamond’ in the third round with a rear-naked choke - a move that Vladimir Putin was particularly impressed by

2019 09 18 Publish

While the consensus is that Tony Ferguson is getting the next crack at Khabib Nurmagomedov, the UFC lightweight champion’s manager caused a stir last week by claiming they’re giving Georges St-Pierre a shot. UFC legend St-Pierre expressed his desire for a dream fight with the Russian before retiring for the second time last year. But he has shot down Ali Abdelaziz’s talk he could leapfrog Ferguson - who, like Khabib, is on a 12-fight win streak - in the queue

2019 10 09 Publish

Conor McGregor is no longer ‘the man’ - Khabib Nurmagomedov is. That’s according to UFC president Dana White, who told The Boston Globe that the Irishman can no longer call the shots in his division. Once the jewel in the company’s crown, former featherweight and lightweight champion McGregor has not fought since a fourth-round submission defeat by the Russian last October 2018 and his demands for a rematch are falling on deaf ears

Khabib Nurmagomedov defended his title at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi but at one point looked in trouble with interim champion Dustin Poirier locking him up in a guillotine. Eddie Bravo said Tony Ferguson will target specifically with the D’Arce choke

2019 10 23 Publish

UFC: Jon Jones asks Tony Ferguson if he’s ‘feeling suicidal’ after callout, then deletes tweet. Light heavyweight champion apologises after being accused of mocking Ferguson’s mental health issues - ‘definitely should’ve used a better choice of words

Seemingly blindsided, Jon Jones hit back. ‘Wait, when did this beef start?!? I thought we were cool!! You over there feeling suicidal Tony?’ Jones tweeted. The tweet was deleted around 30 minutes later after drawing heavy criticism from fans, who pointed out Ferguson’s struggles with mental health issues earlier this year.

The 35-year-old underwent counselling after his wife filed a restraining order against him in March, citing domestic violence. He reportedly rejected an interim lightweight title shot, which was contested between Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier, with UFC president Dana White citing ‘personal issues’ for Ferguson’s absence