McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback

first_img Loading… Read Also:Dakar Rally: Spanish driver wins for third time“But if you ask my family, my loved ones, they’ll tell you I’m not that different. I’m still that passionate young man looking for the moon.”McGregor and Cerrone both weighed in at 170 pounds on Friday for their welterweight bout.McGregor fought at welterweight previously when he went 1-1 against Nate Diaz in 2016 while Cerrone went 6-4 during a welterweight run between 2016 and 2018.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearReal Faces Of The Women From World Famous Paintings8 Things That Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits EarthTruly Mysterious Things That Have Happened On Chinese Soil7 Theories About The Death Of Our Universe6 Best ’90s Action Movies To Watch Today9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Tattoo10 Outrageous Ideas That Made People Ridiculously Rich7 Of The Wealthiest Universities In The WorldThe Biggest Cities In The World So FarThe 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The World Mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor returns to the Octagon after a 15-month absence seeking – he says – to leave controversy behind him.Advertisementcenter_img The Irish star takes on experienced Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas – where Wednesday’s final press conference offered a remarkable display of respect from a fighter as famed for his trash talk as his formidable left hook. “It’s hard not to respect Donald,” McGregor said of the 36-year-old American, who boasts a record of 36 wins, 13 losses and holds the record for the number of knockouts (20) in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) – where victories are often won by submission and decision.However, Cerrone appears to be on the wane, considering his last two losses last year to Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.“He’s a good fighter,” McGregor said. “But I can read Donald like a children’s book. I know his moves and I know what he’s planning. I have the advantage of speed, I’m well prepared, there’s no one to touch me.”McGregor claimed his last victory – his 21st in 25 bouts – in 2016.Since then, McGregor has been battered into submission by arch-rival Khabib Nurmagomedov in a contest that was marred by a massive brawl at ringside and been knocked out by boxing great Floyd Mayweather in a cross-combat superfight in Vegas in 2017.Away from the ring, the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion has been charged with two assaults in the United States and, according to reports in the New York Times, remains the subject of two sexual assault investigations in Ireland.“I’ve made mistakes,” McGregor said in the buildup to the fight. “And I have been man enough to admit them and correct them. I’m more mature and more experienced. These experiences have helped me improve as a man.last_img read more

Surge in wildlife killings is wiping out giraffes

first_img SAMBURU NATIONAL PARK, KENYA—For conservationists stationed in politically volatile regions, life can be harrowing. Last October, John Doherty had to take refuge under his desk here for nearly 2 hours as armed herders, angry at grazing restrictions, attacked a nearby ranger headquarters. He could hear shouting and frenzied footsteps outside and bullets smacking into his office wall. “I was wondering whether I should call my family to tell them I love them,” says the zoologist, of Queen’s University Belfast in the United Kingdom.In recent months, drought and overgrazing in northern Kenya have sent thousands of herders and their livestock into national parks and other protected areas, intensifying tensions over land and grazing. Violence has taken the lives of several rangers, and a surge in wildlife killings is devastating populations of one of East Africa’s most majestic beasts: giraffes. “This affects all wildlife, but giraffes may be particularly hard hit,” says Fred Bercovitch, a zoologist at Kyoto University in Japan and director of Save the Giraffes, a nonprofit in San Antonio, Texas.For hunters, “giraffes are an easy target,” he notes. And as scientists have recognized only recently, giraffes have multiple species, and several populations are already in serious decline. In the past 30 years, populations of two East African varieties, the Nubian and reticulated giraffes, have plunged by 97% and 78%, respectively, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature may soon declare them critically endangered, says Doherty, who is involved in the assessment and leads the Reticulated Giraffe Project, a joint initiative with the Kenya Wildlife Service. In response to the threat, he and other scientists are stepping up research on the animals’ birth and survival rates, movements, and interactions with resources and landscapes, hoping to pinpoint risks and focus conservation efforts. Adding to the pressure is exponential growth in mining and infrastructure development—highways, railways, oil pipelines, and industrial compounds—which often encroach on key giraffe habitats, including those in national parks. The newly opened $3.2 billion Mombasa-Nairobi railway, for instance, cuts through Kenya’s Tsavo National Park. Such infrastructure projects “are going to have a massive impact on the ecosystems,” Lee says.Giraffes are especially vulnerable to population decline because of their life history. After sifting through 40 years of field data, Bercovitch and Philip Berry, a zoologist in Mfuwe, Zambia, came to a disturbing conclusion. An average female gives birth to five calves during her lifetime, and only half of those normally survive, they reported last year in the African Journal of Ecology. “This means that the species has zero population growth,” Bercovitch says. Conservation efforts, he says, should aim to maximize calf survival and females’ lifetime reproductive success by, for instance, protecting breeding and calving grounds.To identify those areas as well as giraffes’ preferred foraging grounds and migratory corridors, conservationists need to map the animals’ behavior and movements. Giraffes’ unique coat patterns make it possible to follow individuals, both in the field and by analyzing images and video with pattern-recognition software. But scientists would also like to track individual animals more closely, and capturing giraffes to attach a conventional tag or collar isn’t easy. “It can be risky, too, because giraffes are uniquely fragile,” Doherty says. “Their body shape makes them especially prone to neck and leg injuries.” His team is developing a new technique to track a large number of giraffes without having to capture them. “It’s trauma-free,” says Doherty, who says confidentiality agreements with Kenyan authorities prevent him from disclosing the details.For now, conservationists hope the turmoil in northern Kenya will not worsen—and with it the plight of the giraffes. “I wasn’t unaware of the risk when I decided to station here 9 years ago,” Doherty says. “But that October morning was one I hope will not repeat.” Surge in wildlife killings is wiping out giraffes (GRAPHIC) G.GRULLÓN/SCIENCE; (DATA) GIRAFFE CONSERVATION FOUNDATION Driven into Kenya’s national parks by drought, herders have slaughtered wildlife including giraffes. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Spotty giraffes Two of Africa’s multiple giraffe populations, the Nubian and reticulated, were already in serious decline when drought and turmoil struck East Africa. The biggest threats to the animals are rapid human population growth and the influx of herders, along with refugees fleeing regional conflicts. In the refugee camps bordering Kenya and Somalia, for instance, bush meat, including giraffes, is an important source of food for half a million destitute people.A traditional predator, the lion, may also be taking a growing toll. A study led by Derek Lee, a zoologist at the Wild Nature Institute, a nonprofit in Concord, New Hampshire, found that giraffe calves in the Tarangire Ecosystem in northern Tanzania are more likely to be eaten by lions, resulting in a 37% drop in reproductive success, when wildebeest and zebra are not around. The finding suggests that because those migratory animals, the cats’ preferred prey, are in sharp decline, the lions may be turning to other prey, including giraffes. “This just shows how important it is to study giraffes, or any species, as part of the bigger picture,” says Anne Innis-Dagg, a zoologist at the University of Waterloo in Canada, who was not involved in the study, published last year in Ecology and Evolution. 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