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USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, Aug. 3: A.J. McKee new No. 1 featherweight USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, Aug. 3: A.J. McKee new No. 1 featherweight

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USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, Aug. 3: A.J. McKee new No. 1 featherweight

Pound For Pound Rankings Already considered one of the greatest fighters of all-time, Jones says he wants to turn his attention to heavyweight and has no intention of returning to 205 pounds. While he failed in his bid to become a champ-champ, Adesanya looked quite dominant in his most recent middleweight title defense and said…

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Pound For Pound Rankings

Already considered one of the greatest fighters of all-time, Jones says he wants to turn his attention to heavyweight and has no intention of returning to 205 pounds.

While he failed in his bid to become a champ-champ, Adesanya looked quite dominant in his most recent middleweight title defense and said he wants to return in October.

After suffering the first knockout loss of his career, Johnson openly contemplated the idea of potentially competing in kickboxing next, which he could also do under the ONE Championship banner.

Ngannou claimed the UFC heavyweight title with a brilliant win over Stipe Miocic but is now openly expressing his frustration with the promotion after an interim title fight was announced.

Miocic apologized for deviating from the gameplan against the dangerous Francis Ngannou, a mistake that cost him the UFC heavyweight title.

The undefeated Bellator champion looked absolutely incredible in his run through the promotion’s featherweight grand prix and is willing to take on anyone in defense of his new title.

Moreno claimed gold with a scintillating victory over Deiveson Figueiredo and now seems destined for stardom in his native Mexico.

Figueiredo handed over his UFC title with a submission loss to new champ Brandon Moreno and now must battle his way back to a trilogy fight.

It was a long way to the top for ‘Do Bronx,’ but Oliveira is truly firing on all cylinders now and will look to put together a run as UFC lightweight champion.

Poirier continues to be one of the most exciting fighters in the game, and his grit is immeasurable – qualities he hopes will net him the UFC lightweight title.

Holloway delivered a record-breaking destruction of Calvin Kattar and now looks like he’ll get a chance to regain the UFC featherweight title later this year.

Whittaker is on quite the run since losing the UFC middleweight title and seems to have earned a rematch with Israel Adesanya.

Honorable Mentions

USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, Aug. 3: A.J. McKee new No. 1 featherweight

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Let the debate begin.

A.J. McKee continued his undefeated record in emphatic fashion this past Saturday at Bellator 263, where he finished dual champion Patricio Freire in just 1:57 to become the new featherweight title holder, grand prix winner and earned $1 million for his efforts.

The victory left no doubt about McKee (18-0 MMA, 18-0 BMMA) being the best 145 pounder in Bellator, where he’s spent his entire career so far, but what about overall? McKee entered Bellator 263 as the No. 5 featherweight in the USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings. Coming out of Bellator 263? McKee is the new No. 1 based after his impressive performance, leapfrogging Brian Ortega, Freire, Max Holloway, and UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski for the top spot.

Volkanovski and Ortega will have an upcoming opportunity to move into the top spot when they face each other Sept. 4 at UFC 266. But until then, McKee reigns supreme based on his undefeated resume, which now includes a relatively quick finish of the fighter widely considered the Bellator GOAT.

McKee also entered the pound-for-pound list for the first time, moving into the No. 8 spot just ahead of Volkanovski.

You can check out our complete rankings by weight class and pound-for-pound in the dropdown above.

A.J. McKee, video, Bellator, MMA Rankings, News, UFC

Ranking Criteria

The rankings take into account a fighter’s wins/losses, quality of competition, finishing rate/dominance and frequency of fights.

Fighters are no longer eligible to be ranked after they’ve been inactive for 24 months, either due to injuries, drug/conduct suspensions, contract disputes or self-imposed hiatuses.

Fighters serving drug/conduct suspensions are eligible to be ranked, so long as they’re not inactive for more than 24 months.

To the best of our ability, fighters will be ranked in their primary weight class. Catchweight fights and bouts outside the fighter’s primary weight class can have a positive or negative impact on the ranking. However, non-titleholders can be ranked in only one weight class at a given time, and in most cases, they won’t be ranked in a new weight class until they’ve had their first fight at that weight.

Journalist and science writer for NewsAfrica24, the Atlantic, New Scientist, Aeon, Men’s Health, and many others. Author of The Intelligence Mafias, published by Stoughton (UK)/WW Norton (USA) and translated into six languages.

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How AC Milan missed out on Ghanaian youngster Felix Afena-Gyan

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Afena Gyan scores brace for AS Roma against Genoa

Afena-Gyan makes Serie A record

Afena-Gyan valued at €20m

Ghanaian youngster Felix Afena-Gyan may be excelling for AS Roma but he could have ended up at rivals AC Milan.

The youngster has risen from the youth side of the Italian giants and taking a spot on the first team where he is in the process of establishing himself as a key cog in Jose Mourinho’s side.

His two goals in AS Roma’s victory over Genoa made him the first player born in 2003 to score in the Italian top flight league.

It has however emerged that Afena-Gyan was once on the books AC Milan and could have had his development in Milan instead of Rome.

Oliver Arthur, the Ghanaian football agent credited with the discovery of the 18-year-old has revealed that Afena-Gyan had trials with AC Milan who were interested in signing him.

Oliver Arthur says the choice of AS Roma as the club for Afena-Gyan was informed by his quest to get a place where the youngster’s development was not going to be impeded.

“He initially had trials at AS Roma, then Sassuolo before going to AC Milan. Milan, just like the other clubs, was very much interested in him. But, we needed to make a decision and look at the best for the player and we settled on AS Roma,” he said Kumasi-based Pure FM.

Oliver Arthur also spoken about how the youngster’s stock has risen since he broke into the first team of AS Roma.

He disclosed that Afena-Gyan is now valued at €20million following his good display for AS Roma.

“It will really be difficult. Very difficult. Range? May be between €15m-€20m. For what he’s done and the abilities he possesses, I think, yes, €20m” he told Angel TV

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Africa to use VAR in World Cup play-offs after Ghana vs South Africa incident

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Ghana defeats South Africa 1-0

South Africa petitions FIFA over penalty in Ghana game

Senegalese referee to be punished by FIFA, says South Africa coach

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be used in the final phase of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Gianni Infantino, the President of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has said.

Infantino has disclosed that FIFA and CAF will use the technology in the play-off to improve officiating in those matches.

Speaking at the extraordinary general assembly of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Cairo, Egypt Infantino said FIFA is making efforts to enhance the quality of matches and introduction of VAR is one of the measures.

“The final stage of the African World Cup qualifiers will see an improvement in refereeing performance due to the use of VAR,” said Infantino.

The President of CAF, Patrice Motsepe who is a South African refused to comment on the specific case of Ghana versus South Africa but promised an investment in officiating.

“We are going to invest in the competitions because our competitions are everything,” said Motsepe.

“That’s why the announcement that we are making today regarding referees is critically important. Africa have got good referees, and we have got world-class referees. We’ve also got referees who are not so good.

“Then we’ve also got referees who are even further from not so good, but they all try. We want to train them, and also pay them good money and look after them. So that they can make a career out of being referees.”

Ghana defeated South Africa 1-0 at the Cape Coast Stadium on November 14, 2021 via a controversial penalty.

Defender Daniel Amartey earned Ghana the penalty which was converted by skipper Andre Ayew on the 33rd minute.

South Africa took issues with the decision by referee Ndiaye and petitioned FIFA to probe what they perceive to be match manipulation.

According to SAFA, the referee was compromised and thus ruled the game in favour of the host team.

The Ghana Football Association has meanwhile disputed the claims and emphasized the Black Stars deserved victory.

It is expected FIFA will issue a verdict on the game in the coming days.

The draw for the play-off will be held in January next year after the Africa Cup of Nations.

The ten countries that have qualified include Ghana, Egypt, Algeria, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia.

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Forget about replay FIFA, will only ban referee Ndiaye Maguette – Hugo Broos

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It appears that head coach of South Africa, Hugo Broos has given up hope of forcing a replay of the 2022 World Cup qualifier against Ghana from FIFA.

The Black Stars defeated the Bafana Bafana of South Africa by a lone goal to secure the only slot in group G for the play offs of the 2022 World Cup.

South Africa after the game accused the match official of match fixing, match manipulation among others before lodging an official complaint with FIFA.

Ghana had a penalty after Daniel Amartey went to ground in the penalty box following a challenge from Rushine De Reuck although it appeared soft there was a nudge in the back of the Leicester City defender.

The Senegalese referee Ndiaye Maguette who was standing just a few meters outside the penalty box swiftly awarded the penalty without any second thought.

FIFA urged the two Associations that is Ghana and South Africa to present any comments or evidence it deems appropriate latest by 20th November 2021 as they referred the protest to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee who began their work on 23rd November,2021.

FIFA is now due to issue a verdict on that appeal which has created friction between Ghana and South Africa in football circles.

Ahead of the verdict, South Africa’s Belgian tactician doesn’t seem confident.

“Fifa met on Tuesday,” Broos told HLN Sportcast. “We expect a decision in the course of this week. It’s not just about the penalty kick, it’s about the whole game. The referee made 71 decisions, 47 of which were foul. The analysis has shown that. And 90 percent of those 47 wrong decisions were against us.”

“You have to be able to prove something like that in black and white. Was he bribed? Wasn’t he pressured? Or was he just having a really bad day? The numbers are there, but is that enough for FIFA? I personally think that it will remain with a suspension for the referee and that we should not count on a replay.” he said.

The draw for the play offs will come off in January while the matches will be played in March 2022.

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