New York Yankees

New York Yankees

CC Sabathia came to agreement with the New York Yankees on the terms of a one-year, $10-million contract on Saturday.
Sources: CC Sabathia returning to the Yankees
CC Sabathia came to agreement with the New York Yankees on the terms of a one-year, $10-million contract on Saturday.
CC Sabathia came to agreement with the New York Yankees on the terms of a one-year, $10-million contract on Saturday.
Sources: CC Sabathia returning to the Yankees
CC Sabathia came to agreement with the New York Yankees on the terms of a one-year, $10-million contract on Saturday.
CC Sabathia came to agreement with the New York Yankees on the terms of a one-year, $10-million contract on Saturday.
Sources: CC Sabathia returning to the Yankees
CC Sabathia came to agreement with the New York Yankees on the terms of a one-year, $10-million contract on Saturday.
FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2017, file photo, New York Yankees' Aaron Judge rounds the bases with a home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in New York. Aaron Judge cant wait to get to spring training and start learning from new teammate Giancarlo Stanton. The reigning AL Rookie of the Year alongside the NL MVP. What a sluggin 1-2 punch in the middle of the New York Yankees lineup not to mention daily entertainment during batting practice.(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)
Column: Smooth on the field, Jeter struggles in front office
FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2017, file photo, New York Yankees' Aaron Judge rounds the bases with a home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in New York. Aaron Judge cant wait to get to spring training and start learning from new teammate Giancarlo Stanton. The reigning AL Rookie of the Year alongside the NL MVP. What a sluggin 1-2 punch in the middle of the New York Yankees lineup not to mention daily entertainment during batting practice.(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)
Former New York Yankees outfielder Dustin Fowler is suing the Chicago White Sox and the state agency that manages Guaranteed Rate Field after suffering a season-ending injury in his major league debut at the ballpark on June 29.
Former Yankees outfielder sues White Sox over injury suffered in MLB debut
Former New York Yankees outfielder Dustin Fowler is suing the Chicago White Sox and the state agency that manages Guaranteed Rate Field after suffering a season-ending injury in his major league debut at the ballpark on June 29.
Former New York Yankees outfielder Dustin Fowler is suing the Chicago White Sox and the state agency that manages Guaranteed Rate Field after suffering a season-ending injury in his major league debut at the ballpark on June 29.
Former Yankees outfielder sues White Sox over injury suffered in MLB debut
Former New York Yankees outfielder Dustin Fowler is suing the Chicago White Sox and the state agency that manages Guaranteed Rate Field after suffering a season-ending injury in his major league debut at the ballpark on June 29.
FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Indians' Carlos Santana connects for a two-run home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning in Game 4 of baseball's American League Division Series, in New York. Two people familiar with the situation say the Phillies and veteran first baseman Carlos Santana have agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal. The people spoke Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, on condition of anonymity because the agreement is contingent on Santana passing a physical. The 31-year-old Santana hit 23 home runs and had 79 RBIs with Cleveland last season, where he had spent all eight years of his career. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
AP sources: Phillies, 1B Santana agree to $60M, 3-year deal
FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Indians' Carlos Santana connects for a two-run home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning in Game 4 of baseball's American League Division Series, in New York. Two people familiar with the situation say the Phillies and veteran first baseman Carlos Santana have agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal. The people spoke Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, on condition of anonymity because the agreement is contingent on Santana passing a physical. The 31-year-old Santana hit 23 home runs and had 79 RBIs with Cleveland last season, where he had spent all eight years of his career. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
FILE - In this May 2, 2015, file photo, New York Yankees' Chris Martin pitches during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston. The Texas Rangers have finalized Martins $4 million, two-year contract after the homegrown pitcher spent the past two seasons in Japan. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
Chris Martin joins hometown Rangers after 2 years in Japan
FILE - In this May 2, 2015, file photo, New York Yankees' Chris Martin pitches during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston. The Texas Rangers have finalized Martins $4 million, two-year contract after the homegrown pitcher spent the past two seasons in Japan. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, left, and manager Aaron Boone watch as new player Giancarlo Stanton, center, talks as Hal Steinbrenner, middle right, and Jean Afterman, left watch during the Major League Baseball winter meetings in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.)
Aaron Judge can't wait to play alongside Giancarlo Stanton
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, left, and manager Aaron Boone watch as new player Giancarlo Stanton, center, talks as Hal Steinbrenner, middle right, and Jean Afterman, left watch during the Major League Baseball winter meetings in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.)
FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2017 file photo, Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Joe Smith delivers in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, in Cleveland. Smith and the World Series champion Houston Astros have agreed to a $15 million, two-year contract. The 33-year-old gets $7 million next year and $8 million in 2019. (AP Photo/David Dermer, File)
Parade of relievers keeping rolling as winter meetings end
FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2017 file photo, Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Joe Smith delivers in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, in Cleveland. Smith and the World Series champion Houston Astros have agreed to a $15 million, two-year contract. The 33-year-old gets $7 million next year and $8 million in 2019. (AP Photo/David Dermer, File)
<p>The Winter Meetings have begun and this slow MLB offseason will likely pick up steam in the coming days. Be sure to check in here regularly for the latest rumors, news and moves around the league.</p><p><em>Here is the latest news coming out of Orlando:</em></p><p><strong>1 p.m.</strong></p><p>• The Red Sox are hoping to sign <em>both</em> J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer. (<a href="http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/red_sox/clubhouse_insider/2017/12/source_red_sox_talks_signal_interest_in_signing_both_jd" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Boston Herald" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><em>Boston Herald</em></a>)</p><p>• The Blue Jays and Giants are talking with the White Sox about Avisail Garcia but a deal isn&#39;t imminent. (<a href="https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/941372525702995975" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:USA Today" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><em>USA Today</em></a>)</p><p>• The Blue Jays have &quot;no plans&quot; to trade Josh Donaldson. (<a href="https://twitter.com/Feinsand/status/941367311159779330" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:MLB.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">MLB.com</a>)</p><p>• Zack Grienke isn&#39;t going to the Rangers but the Diamondbacks still have three other suitors. (<a href="https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/941373192383365121" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:FanRag Sports" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">FanRag Sports</a>)</p><p><strong>12 p.m.</strong></p><p>• The Mets don&#39;t think the Twins will trade Brian Dozier. (<a href="https://twitter.com/NYPost_Mets/status/941367890309255168" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:New York Post" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><em>New York Post</em></a>)</p><p>• The Padres think they have a chance at signing Eric Hosmer. (<a href="https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/941355087535931392" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:FanRag Sports" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">FanRag Sports</a>)</p><p><strong>11 a.m.</strong></p><p>• The St. Louis Cardinals officially announced they have traded outfielder Stephen Piscotty to the Oakland Athletics for shortstop Yairo Munoz and second baseman Max Schrock.</p><p>• The Minnesota Twins are signing right-handed reliever Fernando Rodney. The deal is reportedly for one year and $6 million. (Craig Mish, <a href="https://twitter.com/CraigMish/status/941342832035553282" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sirius XM" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sirius XM</a>)</p><p>• The Chicago White Sox are one of about a dozen teams that have offers on the table for Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. The Orioles will continue to have trade talks on Thursday. (Bob Nightengale, <a href="https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/941332611460468739" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:USA Today" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">USA Today</a>)</p><p>• The San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees are all tied to Machado trade talks. (Jon Heyman, <a href="https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/941323230073315328" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Fan Rag Sports" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Fan Rag Sports</a>)</p><p><strong>10 a.m.</strong></p><p>• The San Diego Padres have emerged as the favorites to sign first baseman Eric Hosmer. (Bob Nightengale, <a href="https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/941287752024420352" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:USA Today" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">USA Today</a>)</p><p>• Former Chicago Cubs catcher Paul Bako is at the winter meetings seeking a major league coaching job. (Jon Heyman, <a href="https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/941320411547086848" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Fan Rag Sports" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Fan Rag Sports</a>)</p><p>• The Cubs have agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Steve Cishek on a two-year deal expected to be worth about $12 million to $14 million. He ended the year with 44 2/3 innings pitched and a 2.01 ERA.</p>
MLB Trade Rumors: Athletics, Cardinals Complete Stephen Piscotty Trade

The Winter Meetings have begun and this slow MLB offseason will likely pick up steam in the coming days. Be sure to check in here regularly for the latest rumors, news and moves around the league.

Here is the latest news coming out of Orlando:

1 p.m.

• The Red Sox are hoping to sign both J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer. (Boston Herald)

• The Blue Jays and Giants are talking with the White Sox about Avisail Garcia but a deal isn't imminent. (USA Today)

• The Blue Jays have "no plans" to trade Josh Donaldson. (MLB.com)

• Zack Grienke isn't going to the Rangers but the Diamondbacks still have three other suitors. (FanRag Sports)

12 p.m.

• The Mets don't think the Twins will trade Brian Dozier. (New York Post)

• The Padres think they have a chance at signing Eric Hosmer. (FanRag Sports)

11 a.m.

• The St. Louis Cardinals officially announced they have traded outfielder Stephen Piscotty to the Oakland Athletics for shortstop Yairo Munoz and second baseman Max Schrock.

• The Minnesota Twins are signing right-handed reliever Fernando Rodney. The deal is reportedly for one year and $6 million. (Craig Mish, Sirius XM)

• The Chicago White Sox are one of about a dozen teams that have offers on the table for Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. The Orioles will continue to have trade talks on Thursday. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)

• The San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees are all tied to Machado trade talks. (Jon Heyman, Fan Rag Sports)

10 a.m.

• The San Diego Padres have emerged as the favorites to sign first baseman Eric Hosmer. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)

• Former Chicago Cubs catcher Paul Bako is at the winter meetings seeking a major league coaching job. (Jon Heyman, Fan Rag Sports)

• The Cubs have agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Steve Cishek on a two-year deal expected to be worth about $12 million to $14 million. He ended the year with 44 2/3 innings pitched and a 2.01 ERA.

<h3><strong>Fighter of the Year: Demetrious Johnson</strong></h3><p>A lot of fighters had banner years in 2017 and there are a lot of solid resumes and claims to the title of “Fighter of the Year.”</p><p>Max Holloway unified the featherweight strap and defeated the division’s GOAT twice. Robert Whittaker fought two of the toughest middleweights on the planet, Ronaldo &quot;Jacare&quot; Souza and Yoel Romero, winning the interim title and eventually being promoted to champion.</p><p>Ryan Bader went 2-0 in Bellator MMA, including winning the light heavyweight title. Volkan Oezdemir went from UFC debut to light heavyweight title shot at <em>UFC 220</em> in January 2018 in one year with a four-fight win streak. Paul Felder had three wins, all via finish and never saw a third round.</p><p>But this year’s fighter of the year is <a href="https://www.si.com/mma/2017/05/16/demetrious-johnson-ufc-mma" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson</a>.</p><p>Johnson successfully defend his title twice this year, both via the armbar and both earning him “Performance of the Night” bonuses.</p><p>When he defeated Wilson Reis at <em>UFC on Fox</em> in April, Johnson tied Anderson Silva’s record for consecutive title defenses. At <em>UFC 216</em> in December, Johnson broke the record and in stunning fashion.</p><p>While the stigma of a cleared out division and lesser opponents unfairly looms over Johnson’s title reign, he dominated opponents and shocked MMA fans around the world with a never before seen belly-to-back suplex with a mid-air transition into the armbar submission.</p><p>With the record locked up, Johnson is out to defend his title in 2018 and perhaps add to his legacy with a super fight against bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.</p><h3><strong>Honorable Mention</strong></h3><p>Robert Whittaker – 2-0 over top middleweights and won the interim real middleweight title. Argument against: Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre casting a large shadow.</p><p>Volkan Oezdemir – 3-0, went from non-UFC fighter to light heavyweight title shot in 12 months. Argument against: Shallow division.</p><p>Max Holloway – 2-0, unifying featherweight title against Jose Aldo in Brazil and winning the rematch. Argument against: Same fighter twice, and Aldo is now 1-3 in his last four fights.</p><h3><strong>Fight of the Year</strong></h3><p>Picking the “Fight of the Year” is a lot like picking the best beer. Some people prefer domestic, some prefer imports. Some prefer IPAs, other people despise IPAs.</p><p>Likewise, people are entertained by fights for different reasons. Some people prefer the fighters just letting leather fly with reckless abandon. Some people appreciate technical fights with solid strategy and game planning, appreciate grappling, and some fans don’t find those versions of MMA boring.</p><p>But the fight between Michael Johnson and Justin Gaethje was the best of the year.</p><p>Gaethje was making his UFC debut after a long, successful career in <em>World Series of Fighting</em>. The question that always loomed over Gaethje’s career was how would he compete against the best and in his UFC debut he got a top-lightweight contender in the main event of a card during International Fight Week.</p><p>It also had a lot of build up, from the “Summer Kickoff” press conference at <em>UFC 211</em> in Dallas, to the clips of trash talk in hotel hallways the spotlight was on.</p><p>Gaethje’s fight against Eddie Alvarez at <em>UFC 218 </em>was a contender for this honor, but the fight against Johnson was a back-and-forth war, each fighter willing to go out on his shield. At one point, Johnson dropped Gaethje and it looked like Gaethje’s debut was going to be spoiled.</p><p>Gaethje rallied to get the win in remarkable fashion, winning a “Performance of the Night” and “Fight of the Night” bonus.</p><h3><strong>Honorable Mention</strong></h3><p>Dustin Poirier vs. Jim Miller, <em>UFC 208</em> – An incredibly tough, back-and-forth fight.</p><p>Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje, <em>UFC 218</em> – Fans were promised violence and the fight delivered. Incredible knee to end the fight.</p><p>Yancy Medeiros vs Alex Oliveira, <em>UFC 218</em> – Back-and-forth fight, each fighter dropping their opponent.</p><h3><strong>Upset of the Year: Rose Namajunas over Joanna Jedrzejczyk</strong></h3><p>Headed into <em>UFC 217</em>, the biggest underdog on the card was Rose Namajunas, who was set to challenge Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the 115-pound strap. In hindsight it was absurd. Namajunas fought Carla Esparza for the inaugural strawweight title, her most recent loss was against Karolina Kowalkiewicz, a fight which earned her a shot at Jedrzejczyk.</p><p>But the biggest underdog on the card she was, partly because of Jedrzejczyk’s dominance. Jedrzejczyk was on the cusp of tying Ronda Rousey’s record for title defenses and looked dominant in most of her fights. She had won six out of seven title fights in the division’s history.</p><p>And Namajunas needed just over three minutes to stop history, in impressive fashion to boot. Namajunas didn’t get a close or controversial decision win, she dropped Jedrzejczyk, one of the best striker’s in women’s MMA, twice.</p><p>She overcame the pressure, she overcame the trash talk from Jedrzejczyk and won the title in emphatic fashion on the biggest stage possible in Madison Square Garden.</p><p>Is it the biggest upset in UFC history? Perhaps not. History will judge the upset when Namajunas finishes her career, and that title depends on where Namajunas goes from here.</p><p>But, the biggest upset of 2017? Definitely, and it came on a night when three champions were upset.</p><h3><strong>Honorable Mention</strong></h3><p>Nicco Montaño – Was the 14th seed on <em>The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion</em> and won the show and the inaugural women’s flyweight title.</p><p>Darren Till vs. Donald Cerrone – Till was a young fighter making his debut against a veteran of the sport in the main event and got a big win.</p><p>Georges St-Pierre – Came back after a four-year layoff, moved up in weight and defeated Michael Bisping for the middleweight title, though technically he was the favorite according to the odds.</p><h3><strong>Rookie of the Year: Cynthia Calvillo</strong></h3><p>Cynthia Calvillo is 4-0 in 2017, including 3-0 in the UFC. Calvillo made her debut at UFC 209 on 10 days notice against Amanda Bobby Cooper and got a first-round win via a rear-naked choke.</p><p>In her second UFC fight, Calvillo was given a pay-per-view slot right before the co-main event and defeated Pearl Gonzalez in the third round with another rear-naked choke.</p><p>Then, Calvillo went overseas and defeated Joanne Calderwood in her home country.</p><p>Calvillo still has one fight left, against former strawweight champion Carla Esparza at <em>UFC 219</em>, and a win would really put an exclamation point on a tremendous rookie campaign in the UFC, and perhaps cement a claim to “Fighter of the Year.”</p><h3><strong>Honorable Mention</strong></h3><p>Volkan Oezdemir – 4-0 in the UFC and earned a light heavyweight title shot against Daniel Cormier.</p><p>Nicco Montaño – Wasn’t considered a contender for the women’s flyweight title on <em>The Ultimate Fighter</em>. Knocked off the second, third and sixth ranked fighter on the show. Then beat the No. 1 overall seed, veteran Roxanne Modafferi, to win the inaugural belt.</p><p>Paulo Costa – 3-0, including a win over former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.</p><h3><strong>Bold Prediction for 2018</strong></h3><p>Conor McGregor doesn’t defend the belt</p><p>There is a lot of talk about McGregor’s future in combat sports. Does he stay in boxing? There are reports Manny Pacquiao is interested in a boxing bout. Does he retire? Dana White thinks with a loaded bank account he might lack the motivation to get punched in the face anymore.</p><p>And more importantly does he return to the UFC at all?</p><p>McGregor has always been drawn to the next challenge and the most marketable fights, and is proven he isn’t keen to defend belts. Unlike the typical thought process—you’re not a real champion till you defend the belt—McGregor seems to see it as a mountain summitted and looks for the next precipice to tackle.</p><p>If he does return to the UFC, could it be for a super fight with Georges St-Pierre? Does he challenge for the welterweight strap? Does he drop back to 145 pounds to win his first UFC title back, a belt he never lost?</p><p>All those scenarios have McGregor returning and not defending the belt.</p><h3><strong>Conor McGregor fans ranked best of year in Sports Figures</strong></h3><p>Every year, FanSided ranks the best fandoms in the world in a ranking called <a href="https://fansided.com/fandom250/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Fandom 250" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Fandom 250</a>. Not only does it include sports franchises and athletes, it includes movies, TV shows, celebrities, musicians and brands.</p><p>And UFC lightweight champion <a href="https://fansided.com/fandom250/conor-mcgregor/2017" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Conor McGregor" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Conor McGregor</a> finished fifth overall, first in the <a href="https://fansided.com/fandom250/2017/sports-figures/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:sports figure category" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">sports figure category</a>. That’s ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, the Chicago Cubs, the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees.</p><p>The <a href="https://fansided.com/fandom250/ufc/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:UFC" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">UFC</a> came in at 48th on the list.</p><p>It’s hard to contest. McGregor’s popularity has brought an influx of new fans into mixed martial arts, and the UFC. Despite not fighting in the UFC, he still looms large over the company as a whole drawing comments from fighters in all divisions and ire from those in at least two.</p><p>But the large reason for McGregor’s prominence in the rankings was the Floyd Mayweather fight. The undefeated boxer acknowledged fan demand as a reason he unretired to take the crossover fight. McGregor’s social media presence exploded, gaining over 10 million followers on Instagram alone.</p><p>Mayweather vs. McGregor was the third most searched sporting event in the world according to <a href="https://trends.google.com/trends/yis/2017/GLOBAL/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Google data" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Google data</a>, behind only Wimbledon and the Super Bowl. The fight was the sixth biggest search in the United States, ahead of the solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey. How to watch the fight was the fourth most searched in the “How to…” category.</p>
Thursday Tap Out: The Year-End Awards Edition

Fighter of the Year: Demetrious Johnson

A lot of fighters had banner years in 2017 and there are a lot of solid resumes and claims to the title of “Fighter of the Year.”

Max Holloway unified the featherweight strap and defeated the division’s GOAT twice. Robert Whittaker fought two of the toughest middleweights on the planet, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Yoel Romero, winning the interim title and eventually being promoted to champion.

Ryan Bader went 2-0 in Bellator MMA, including winning the light heavyweight title. Volkan Oezdemir went from UFC debut to light heavyweight title shot at UFC 220 in January 2018 in one year with a four-fight win streak. Paul Felder had three wins, all via finish and never saw a third round.

But this year’s fighter of the year is flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.

Johnson successfully defend his title twice this year, both via the armbar and both earning him “Performance of the Night” bonuses.

When he defeated Wilson Reis at UFC on Fox in April, Johnson tied Anderson Silva’s record for consecutive title defenses. At UFC 216 in December, Johnson broke the record and in stunning fashion.

While the stigma of a cleared out division and lesser opponents unfairly looms over Johnson’s title reign, he dominated opponents and shocked MMA fans around the world with a never before seen belly-to-back suplex with a mid-air transition into the armbar submission.

With the record locked up, Johnson is out to defend his title in 2018 and perhaps add to his legacy with a super fight against bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.

Honorable Mention

Robert Whittaker – 2-0 over top middleweights and won the interim real middleweight title. Argument against: Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre casting a large shadow.

Volkan Oezdemir – 3-0, went from non-UFC fighter to light heavyweight title shot in 12 months. Argument against: Shallow division.

Max Holloway – 2-0, unifying featherweight title against Jose Aldo in Brazil and winning the rematch. Argument against: Same fighter twice, and Aldo is now 1-3 in his last four fights.

Fight of the Year

Picking the “Fight of the Year” is a lot like picking the best beer. Some people prefer domestic, some prefer imports. Some prefer IPAs, other people despise IPAs.

Likewise, people are entertained by fights for different reasons. Some people prefer the fighters just letting leather fly with reckless abandon. Some people appreciate technical fights with solid strategy and game planning, appreciate grappling, and some fans don’t find those versions of MMA boring.

But the fight between Michael Johnson and Justin Gaethje was the best of the year.

Gaethje was making his UFC debut after a long, successful career in World Series of Fighting. The question that always loomed over Gaethje’s career was how would he compete against the best and in his UFC debut he got a top-lightweight contender in the main event of a card during International Fight Week.

It also had a lot of build up, from the “Summer Kickoff” press conference at UFC 211 in Dallas, to the clips of trash talk in hotel hallways the spotlight was on.

Gaethje’s fight against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 218 was a contender for this honor, but the fight against Johnson was a back-and-forth war, each fighter willing to go out on his shield. At one point, Johnson dropped Gaethje and it looked like Gaethje’s debut was going to be spoiled.

Gaethje rallied to get the win in remarkable fashion, winning a “Performance of the Night” and “Fight of the Night” bonus.

Honorable Mention

Dustin Poirier vs. Jim Miller, UFC 208 – An incredibly tough, back-and-forth fight.

Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje, UFC 218 – Fans were promised violence and the fight delivered. Incredible knee to end the fight.

Yancy Medeiros vs Alex Oliveira, UFC 218 – Back-and-forth fight, each fighter dropping their opponent.

Upset of the Year: Rose Namajunas over Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Headed into UFC 217, the biggest underdog on the card was Rose Namajunas, who was set to challenge Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the 115-pound strap. In hindsight it was absurd. Namajunas fought Carla Esparza for the inaugural strawweight title, her most recent loss was against Karolina Kowalkiewicz, a fight which earned her a shot at Jedrzejczyk.

But the biggest underdog on the card she was, partly because of Jedrzejczyk’s dominance. Jedrzejczyk was on the cusp of tying Ronda Rousey’s record for title defenses and looked dominant in most of her fights. She had won six out of seven title fights in the division’s history.

And Namajunas needed just over three minutes to stop history, in impressive fashion to boot. Namajunas didn’t get a close or controversial decision win, she dropped Jedrzejczyk, one of the best striker’s in women’s MMA, twice.

She overcame the pressure, she overcame the trash talk from Jedrzejczyk and won the title in emphatic fashion on the biggest stage possible in Madison Square Garden.

Is it the biggest upset in UFC history? Perhaps not. History will judge the upset when Namajunas finishes her career, and that title depends on where Namajunas goes from here.

But, the biggest upset of 2017? Definitely, and it came on a night when three champions were upset.

Honorable Mention

Nicco Montaño – Was the 14th seed on The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion and won the show and the inaugural women’s flyweight title.

Darren Till vs. Donald Cerrone – Till was a young fighter making his debut against a veteran of the sport in the main event and got a big win.

Georges St-Pierre – Came back after a four-year layoff, moved up in weight and defeated Michael Bisping for the middleweight title, though technically he was the favorite according to the odds.

Rookie of the Year: Cynthia Calvillo

Cynthia Calvillo is 4-0 in 2017, including 3-0 in the UFC. Calvillo made her debut at UFC 209 on 10 days notice against Amanda Bobby Cooper and got a first-round win via a rear-naked choke.

In her second UFC fight, Calvillo was given a pay-per-view slot right before the co-main event and defeated Pearl Gonzalez in the third round with another rear-naked choke.

Then, Calvillo went overseas and defeated Joanne Calderwood in her home country.

Calvillo still has one fight left, against former strawweight champion Carla Esparza at UFC 219, and a win would really put an exclamation point on a tremendous rookie campaign in the UFC, and perhaps cement a claim to “Fighter of the Year.”

Honorable Mention

Volkan Oezdemir – 4-0 in the UFC and earned a light heavyweight title shot against Daniel Cormier.

Nicco Montaño – Wasn’t considered a contender for the women’s flyweight title on The Ultimate Fighter. Knocked off the second, third and sixth ranked fighter on the show. Then beat the No. 1 overall seed, veteran Roxanne Modafferi, to win the inaugural belt.

Paulo Costa – 3-0, including a win over former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.

Bold Prediction for 2018

Conor McGregor doesn’t defend the belt

There is a lot of talk about McGregor’s future in combat sports. Does he stay in boxing? There are reports Manny Pacquiao is interested in a boxing bout. Does he retire? Dana White thinks with a loaded bank account he might lack the motivation to get punched in the face anymore.

And more importantly does he return to the UFC at all?

McGregor has always been drawn to the next challenge and the most marketable fights, and is proven he isn’t keen to defend belts. Unlike the typical thought process—you’re not a real champion till you defend the belt—McGregor seems to see it as a mountain summitted and looks for the next precipice to tackle.

If he does return to the UFC, could it be for a super fight with Georges St-Pierre? Does he challenge for the welterweight strap? Does he drop back to 145 pounds to win his first UFC title back, a belt he never lost?

All those scenarios have McGregor returning and not defending the belt.

Conor McGregor fans ranked best of year in Sports Figures

Every year, FanSided ranks the best fandoms in the world in a ranking called Fandom 250. Not only does it include sports franchises and athletes, it includes movies, TV shows, celebrities, musicians and brands.

And UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor finished fifth overall, first in the sports figure category. That’s ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, the Chicago Cubs, the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees.

The UFC came in at 48th on the list.

It’s hard to contest. McGregor’s popularity has brought an influx of new fans into mixed martial arts, and the UFC. Despite not fighting in the UFC, he still looms large over the company as a whole drawing comments from fighters in all divisions and ire from those in at least two.

But the large reason for McGregor’s prominence in the rankings was the Floyd Mayweather fight. The undefeated boxer acknowledged fan demand as a reason he unretired to take the crossover fight. McGregor’s social media presence exploded, gaining over 10 million followers on Instagram alone.

Mayweather vs. McGregor was the third most searched sporting event in the world according to Google data, behind only Wimbledon and the Super Bowl. The fight was the sixth biggest search in the United States, ahead of the solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey. How to watch the fight was the fourth most searched in the “How to…” category.

<h3><strong>Fighter of the Year: Demetrious Johnson</strong></h3><p>A lot of fighters had banner years in 2017 and there are a lot of solid resumes and claims to the title of “Fighter of the Year.”</p><p>Max Holloway unified the featherweight strap and defeated the division’s GOAT twice. Robert Whittaker fought two of the toughest middleweights on the planet, Ronaldo &quot;Jacare&quot; Souza and Yoel Romero, winning the interim title and eventually being promoted to champion.</p><p>Ryan Bader went 2-0 in Bellator MMA, including winning the light heavyweight title. Volkan Oezdemir went from UFC debut to light heavyweight title shot at <em>UFC 220</em> in January 2018 in one year with a four-fight win streak. Paul Felder had three wins, all via finish and never saw a third round.</p><p>But this year’s fighter of the year is <a href="https://www.si.com/mma/2017/05/16/demetrious-johnson-ufc-mma" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson</a>.</p><p>Johnson successfully defend his title twice this year, both via the armbar and both earning him “Performance of the Night” bonuses.</p><p>When he defeated Wilson Reis at <em>UFC on Fox</em> in April, Johnson tied Anderson Silva’s record for consecutive title defenses. At <em>UFC 216</em> in December, Johnson broke the record and in stunning fashion.</p><p>While the stigma of a cleared out division and lesser opponents unfairly looms over Johnson’s title reign, he dominated opponents and shocked MMA fans around the world with a never before seen belly-to-back suplex with a mid-air transition into the armbar submission.</p><p>With the record locked up, Johnson is out to defend his title in 2018 and perhaps add to his legacy with a super fight against bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.</p><h3><strong>Honorable Mention</strong></h3><p>Robert Whittaker – 2-0 over top middleweights and won the interim real middleweight title. Argument against: Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre casting a large shadow.</p><p>Volkan Oezdemir – 3-0, went from non-UFC fighter to light heavyweight title shot in 12 months. Argument against: Shallow division.</p><p>Max Holloway – 2-0, unifying featherweight title against Jose Aldo in Brazil and winning the rematch. Argument against: Same fighter twice, and Aldo is now 1-3 in his last four fights.</p><h3><strong>Fight of the Year</strong></h3><p>Picking the “Fight of the Year” is a lot like picking the best beer. Some people prefer domestic, some prefer imports. Some prefer IPAs, other people despise IPAs.</p><p>Likewise, people are entertained by fights for different reasons. Some people prefer the fighters just letting leather fly with reckless abandon. Some people appreciate technical fights with solid strategy and game planning, appreciate grappling, and some fans don’t find those versions of MMA boring.</p><p>But the fight between Michael Johnson and Justin Gaethje was the best of the year.</p><p>Gaethje was making his UFC debut after a long, successful career in <em>World Series of Fighting</em>. The question that always loomed over Gaethje’s career was how would he compete against the best and in his UFC debut he got a top-lightweight contender in the main event of a card during International Fight Week.</p><p>It also had a lot of build up, from the “Summer Kickoff” press conference at <em>UFC 211</em> in Dallas, to the clips of trash talk in hotel hallways the spotlight was on.</p><p>Gaethje’s fight against Eddie Alvarez at <em>UFC 218 </em>was a contender for this honor, but the fight against Johnson was a back-and-forth war, each fighter willing to go out on his shield. At one point, Johnson dropped Gaethje and it looked like Gaethje’s debut was going to be spoiled.</p><p>Gaethje rallied to get the win in remarkable fashion, winning a “Performance of the Night” and “Fight of the Night” bonus.</p><h3><strong>Honorable Mention</strong></h3><p>Dustin Poirier vs. Jim Miller, <em>UFC 208</em> – An incredibly tough, back-and-forth fight.</p><p>Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje, <em>UFC 218</em> – Fans were promised violence and the fight delivered. Incredible knee to end the fight.</p><p>Yancy Medeiros vs Alex Oliveira, <em>UFC 218</em> – Back-and-forth fight, each fighter dropping their opponent.</p><h3><strong>Upset of the Year: Rose Namajunas over Joanna Jedrzejczyk</strong></h3><p>Headed into <em>UFC 217</em>, the biggest underdog on the card was Rose Namajunas, who was set to challenge Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the 115-pound strap. In hindsight it was absurd. Namajunas fought Carla Esparza for the inaugural strawweight title, her most recent loss was against Karolina Kowalkiewicz, a fight which earned her a shot at Jedrzejczyk.</p><p>But the biggest underdog on the card she was, partly because of Jedrzejczyk’s dominance. Jedrzejczyk was on the cusp of tying Ronda Rousey’s record for title defenses and looked dominant in most of her fights. She had won six out of seven title fights in the division’s history.</p><p>And Namajunas needed just over three minutes to stop history, in impressive fashion to boot. Namajunas didn’t get a close or controversial decision win, she dropped Jedrzejczyk, one of the best striker’s in women’s MMA, twice.</p><p>She overcame the pressure, she overcame the trash talk from Jedrzejczyk and won the title in emphatic fashion on the biggest stage possible in Madison Square Garden.</p><p>Is it the biggest upset in UFC history? Perhaps not. History will judge the upset when Namajunas finishes her career, and that title depends on where Namajunas goes from here.</p><p>But, the biggest upset of 2017? Definitely, and it came on a night when three champions were upset.</p><h3><strong>Honorable Mention</strong></h3><p>Nicco Montaño – Was the 14th seed on <em>The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion</em> and won the show and the inaugural women’s flyweight title.</p><p>Darren Till vs. Donald Cerrone – Till was a young fighter making his debut against a veteran of the sport in the main event and got a big win.</p><p>Georges St-Pierre – Came back after a four-year layoff, moved up in weight and defeated Michael Bisping for the middleweight title, though technically he was the favorite according to the odds.</p><h3><strong>Rookie of the Year: Cynthia Calvillo</strong></h3><p>Cynthia Calvillo is 4-0 in 2017, including 3-0 in the UFC. Calvillo made her debut at UFC 209 on 10 days notice against Amanda Bobby Cooper and got a first-round win via a rear-naked choke.</p><p>In her second UFC fight, Calvillo was given a pay-per-view slot right before the co-main event and defeated Pearl Gonzalez in the third round with another rear-naked choke.</p><p>Then, Calvillo went overseas and defeated Joanne Calderwood in her home country.</p><p>Calvillo still has one fight left, against former strawweight champion Carla Esparza at <em>UFC 219</em>, and a win would really put an exclamation point on a tremendous rookie campaign in the UFC, and perhaps cement a claim to “Fighter of the Year.”</p><h3><strong>Honorable Mention</strong></h3><p>Volkan Oezdemir – 4-0 in the UFC and earned a light heavyweight title shot against Daniel Cormier.</p><p>Nicco Montaño – Wasn’t considered a contender for the women’s flyweight title on <em>The Ultimate Fighter</em>. Knocked off the second, third and sixth ranked fighter on the show. Then beat the No. 1 overall seed, veteran Roxanne Modafferi, to win the inaugural belt.</p><p>Paulo Costa – 3-0, including a win over former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.</p><h3><strong>Bold Prediction for 2018</strong></h3><p>Conor McGregor doesn’t defend the belt</p><p>There is a lot of talk about McGregor’s future in combat sports. Does he stay in boxing? There are reports Manny Pacquiao is interested in a boxing bout. Does he retire? Dana White thinks with a loaded bank account he might lack the motivation to get punched in the face anymore.</p><p>And more importantly does he return to the UFC at all?</p><p>McGregor has always been drawn to the next challenge and the most marketable fights, and is proven he isn’t keen to defend belts. Unlike the typical thought process—you’re not a real champion till you defend the belt—McGregor seems to see it as a mountain summitted and looks for the next precipice to tackle.</p><p>If he does return to the UFC, could it be for a super fight with Georges St-Pierre? Does he challenge for the welterweight strap? Does he drop back to 145 pounds to win his first UFC title back, a belt he never lost?</p><p>All those scenarios have McGregor returning and not defending the belt.</p><h3><strong>Conor McGregor fans ranked best of year in Sports Figures</strong></h3><p>Every year, FanSided ranks the best fandoms in the world in a ranking called <a href="https://fansided.com/fandom250/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Fandom 250" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Fandom 250</a>. Not only does it include sports franchises and athletes, it includes movies, TV shows, celebrities, musicians and brands.</p><p>And UFC lightweight champion <a href="https://fansided.com/fandom250/conor-mcgregor/2017" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Conor McGregor" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Conor McGregor</a> finished fifth overall, first in the <a href="https://fansided.com/fandom250/2017/sports-figures/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:sports figure category" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">sports figure category</a>. That’s ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, the Chicago Cubs, the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees.</p><p>The <a href="https://fansided.com/fandom250/ufc/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:UFC" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">UFC</a> came in at 48th on the list.</p><p>It’s hard to contest. McGregor’s popularity has brought an influx of new fans into mixed martial arts, and the UFC. Despite not fighting in the UFC, he still looms large over the company as a whole drawing comments from fighters in all divisions and ire from those in at least two.</p><p>But the large reason for McGregor’s prominence in the rankings was the Floyd Mayweather fight. The undefeated boxer acknowledged fan demand as a reason he unretired to take the crossover fight. McGregor’s social media presence exploded, gaining over 10 million followers on Instagram alone.</p><p>Mayweather vs. McGregor was the third most searched sporting event in the world according to <a href="https://trends.google.com/trends/yis/2017/GLOBAL/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Google data" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Google data</a>, behind only Wimbledon and the Super Bowl. The fight was the sixth biggest search in the United States, ahead of the solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey. How to watch the fight was the fourth most searched in the “How to…” category.</p>
Thursday Tap Out: The Year-End Awards Edition

Fighter of the Year: Demetrious Johnson

A lot of fighters had banner years in 2017 and there are a lot of solid resumes and claims to the title of “Fighter of the Year.”

Max Holloway unified the featherweight strap and defeated the division’s GOAT twice. Robert Whittaker fought two of the toughest middleweights on the planet, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Yoel Romero, winning the interim title and eventually being promoted to champion.

Ryan Bader went 2-0 in Bellator MMA, including winning the light heavyweight title. Volkan Oezdemir went from UFC debut to light heavyweight title shot at UFC 220 in January 2018 in one year with a four-fight win streak. Paul Felder had three wins, all via finish and never saw a third round.

But this year’s fighter of the year is flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.

Johnson successfully defend his title twice this year, both via the armbar and both earning him “Performance of the Night” bonuses.

When he defeated Wilson Reis at UFC on Fox in April, Johnson tied Anderson Silva’s record for consecutive title defenses. At UFC 216 in December, Johnson broke the record and in stunning fashion.

While the stigma of a cleared out division and lesser opponents unfairly looms over Johnson’s title reign, he dominated opponents and shocked MMA fans around the world with a never before seen belly-to-back suplex with a mid-air transition into the armbar submission.

With the record locked up, Johnson is out to defend his title in 2018 and perhaps add to his legacy with a super fight against bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.

Honorable Mention

Robert Whittaker – 2-0 over top middleweights and won the interim real middleweight title. Argument against: Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre casting a large shadow.

Volkan Oezdemir – 3-0, went from non-UFC fighter to light heavyweight title shot in 12 months. Argument against: Shallow division.

Max Holloway – 2-0, unifying featherweight title against Jose Aldo in Brazil and winning the rematch. Argument against: Same fighter twice, and Aldo is now 1-3 in his last four fights.

Fight of the Year

Picking the “Fight of the Year” is a lot like picking the best beer. Some people prefer domestic, some prefer imports. Some prefer IPAs, other people despise IPAs.

Likewise, people are entertained by fights for different reasons. Some people prefer the fighters just letting leather fly with reckless abandon. Some people appreciate technical fights with solid strategy and game planning, appreciate grappling, and some fans don’t find those versions of MMA boring.

But the fight between Michael Johnson and Justin Gaethje was the best of the year.

Gaethje was making his UFC debut after a long, successful career in World Series of Fighting. The question that always loomed over Gaethje’s career was how would he compete against the best and in his UFC debut he got a top-lightweight contender in the main event of a card during International Fight Week.

It also had a lot of build up, from the “Summer Kickoff” press conference at UFC 211 in Dallas, to the clips of trash talk in hotel hallways the spotlight was on.

Gaethje’s fight against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 218 was a contender for this honor, but the fight against Johnson was a back-and-forth war, each fighter willing to go out on his shield. At one point, Johnson dropped Gaethje and it looked like Gaethje’s debut was going to be spoiled.

Gaethje rallied to get the win in remarkable fashion, winning a “Performance of the Night” and “Fight of the Night” bonus.

Honorable Mention

Dustin Poirier vs. Jim Miller, UFC 208 – An incredibly tough, back-and-forth fight.

Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje, UFC 218 – Fans were promised violence and the fight delivered. Incredible knee to end the fight.

Yancy Medeiros vs Alex Oliveira, UFC 218 – Back-and-forth fight, each fighter dropping their opponent.

Upset of the Year: Rose Namajunas over Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Headed into UFC 217, the biggest underdog on the card was Rose Namajunas, who was set to challenge Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the 115-pound strap. In hindsight it was absurd. Namajunas fought Carla Esparza for the inaugural strawweight title, her most recent loss was against Karolina Kowalkiewicz, a fight which earned her a shot at Jedrzejczyk.

But the biggest underdog on the card she was, partly because of Jedrzejczyk’s dominance. Jedrzejczyk was on the cusp of tying Ronda Rousey’s record for title defenses and looked dominant in most of her fights. She had won six out of seven title fights in the division’s history.

And Namajunas needed just over three minutes to stop history, in impressive fashion to boot. Namajunas didn’t get a close or controversial decision win, she dropped Jedrzejczyk, one of the best striker’s in women’s MMA, twice.

She overcame the pressure, she overcame the trash talk from Jedrzejczyk and won the title in emphatic fashion on the biggest stage possible in Madison Square Garden.

Is it the biggest upset in UFC history? Perhaps not. History will judge the upset when Namajunas finishes her career, and that title depends on where Namajunas goes from here.

But, the biggest upset of 2017? Definitely, and it came on a night when three champions were upset.

Honorable Mention

Nicco Montaño – Was the 14th seed on The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion and won the show and the inaugural women’s flyweight title.

Darren Till vs. Donald Cerrone – Till was a young fighter making his debut against a veteran of the sport in the main event and got a big win.

Georges St-Pierre – Came back after a four-year layoff, moved up in weight and defeated Michael Bisping for the middleweight title, though technically he was the favorite according to the odds.

Rookie of the Year: Cynthia Calvillo

Cynthia Calvillo is 4-0 in 2017, including 3-0 in the UFC. Calvillo made her debut at UFC 209 on 10 days notice against Amanda Bobby Cooper and got a first-round win via a rear-naked choke.

In her second UFC fight, Calvillo was given a pay-per-view slot right before the co-main event and defeated Pearl Gonzalez in the third round with another rear-naked choke.

Then, Calvillo went overseas and defeated Joanne Calderwood in her home country.

Calvillo still has one fight left, against former strawweight champion Carla Esparza at UFC 219, and a win would really put an exclamation point on a tremendous rookie campaign in the UFC, and perhaps cement a claim to “Fighter of the Year.”

Honorable Mention

Volkan Oezdemir – 4-0 in the UFC and earned a light heavyweight title shot against Daniel Cormier.

Nicco Montaño – Wasn’t considered a contender for the women’s flyweight title on The Ultimate Fighter. Knocked off the second, third and sixth ranked fighter on the show. Then beat the No. 1 overall seed, veteran Roxanne Modafferi, to win the inaugural belt.

Paulo Costa – 3-0, including a win over former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.

Bold Prediction for 2018

Conor McGregor doesn’t defend the belt

There is a lot of talk about McGregor’s future in combat sports. Does he stay in boxing? There are reports Manny Pacquiao is interested in a boxing bout. Does he retire? Dana White thinks with a loaded bank account he might lack the motivation to get punched in the face anymore.

And more importantly does he return to the UFC at all?

McGregor has always been drawn to the next challenge and the most marketable fights, and is proven he isn’t keen to defend belts. Unlike the typical thought process—you’re not a real champion till you defend the belt—McGregor seems to see it as a mountain summitted and looks for the next precipice to tackle.

If he does return to the UFC, could it be for a super fight with Georges St-Pierre? Does he challenge for the welterweight strap? Does he drop back to 145 pounds to win his first UFC title back, a belt he never lost?

All those scenarios have McGregor returning and not defending the belt.

Conor McGregor fans ranked best of year in Sports Figures

Every year, FanSided ranks the best fandoms in the world in a ranking called Fandom 250. Not only does it include sports franchises and athletes, it includes movies, TV shows, celebrities, musicians and brands.

And UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor finished fifth overall, first in the sports figure category. That’s ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, the Chicago Cubs, the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees.

The UFC came in at 48th on the list.

It’s hard to contest. McGregor’s popularity has brought an influx of new fans into mixed martial arts, and the UFC. Despite not fighting in the UFC, he still looms large over the company as a whole drawing comments from fighters in all divisions and ire from those in at least two.

But the large reason for McGregor’s prominence in the rankings was the Floyd Mayweather fight. The undefeated boxer acknowledged fan demand as a reason he unretired to take the crossover fight. McGregor’s social media presence exploded, gaining over 10 million followers on Instagram alone.

Mayweather vs. McGregor was the third most searched sporting event in the world according to Google data, behind only Wimbledon and the Super Bowl. The fight was the sixth biggest search in the United States, ahead of the solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey. How to watch the fight was the fourth most searched in the “How to…” category.

Giancarlo Stanton is positive his move to the New York Yankees is the right one, after turning down the St Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants to swap the Miami Marlins for one of the best known sports teams in the world.
Yankees where I want to be - Stanton
Giancarlo Stanton is positive his move to the New York Yankees is the right one, after turning down the St Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants to swap the Miami Marlins for one of the best known sports teams in the world.
Giancarlo Stanton is positive his move to the New York Yankees is the right one, after turning down the St Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants to swap the Miami Marlins for one of the best known sports teams in the world.
Yankees where I want to be - Stanton
Giancarlo Stanton is positive his move to the New York Yankees is the right one, after turning down the St Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants to swap the Miami Marlins for one of the best known sports teams in the world.
Giancarlo Stanton is positive his move to the New York Yankees is the right one, after turning down the St Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants to swap the Miami Marlins for one of the best known sports teams in the world.
Yankees where I want to be - Stanton
Giancarlo Stanton is positive his move to the New York Yankees is the right one, after turning down the St Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants to swap the Miami Marlins for one of the best known sports teams in the world.
FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2017, file photo, New York Yankees&#39; Gleyber Torres looks on during a spring training baseball workout, in Tampa, Fla. On the day top Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres turned 21, New York general manager Brian Cashman revealed the team&#39;s big league staff wanted him on last year&#39;s opening-day roster. Torres season ended when he tore a left elbow ligament in June, and he could start at third base or second base next year. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Some Yanks wanted Gleyber Torres in big leagues last season
FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2017, file photo, New York Yankees' Gleyber Torres looks on during a spring training baseball workout, in Tampa, Fla. On the day top Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres turned 21, New York general manager Brian Cashman revealed the team's big league staff wanted him on last year's opening-day roster. Torres season ended when he tore a left elbow ligament in June, and he could start at third base or second base next year. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
FILE - In this May 5, 2017, file photo, New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda throws against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of an interleague baseball game, in Chicago. The Minnesota Twins have signed former New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, giving a two-year, $10 million contract to the right-hander recovering from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
Recovering Pineda, Twins agree to $10M, 2-year deal
FILE - In this May 5, 2017, file photo, New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda throws against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of an interleague baseball game, in Chicago. The Minnesota Twins have signed former New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, giving a two-year, $10 million contract to the right-hander recovering from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
Adam Schein discusses the pressure the Boston Red Sox face this winter after the New York Yankees acquired Giancarlo Stanton.
Time to Schein: The Red Sox are on the clock after the Yankees Stanton trade
Adam Schein discusses the pressure the Boston Red Sox face this winter after the New York Yankees acquired Giancarlo Stanton.
Adam Schein discusses the pressure the Boston Red Sox face this winter after the New York Yankees acquired Giancarlo Stanton.
Time to Schein: The Red Sox are on the clock after the Yankees Stanton trade
Adam Schein discusses the pressure the Boston Red Sox face this winter after the New York Yankees acquired Giancarlo Stanton.
Adam Schein discusses the pressure the Boston Red Sox face this winter after the New York Yankees acquired Giancarlo Stanton.
Time to Schein: The Red Sox are on the clock after the Yankees Stanton trade
Adam Schein discusses the pressure the Boston Red Sox face this winter after the New York Yankees acquired Giancarlo Stanton.
Adam Schein discusses the pressure the Boston Red Sox face this winter after the New York Yankees acquired Giancarlo Stanton.
Time to Schein: The Red Sox are on the clock after the Yankees Stanton trade
Adam Schein discusses the pressure the Boston Red Sox face this winter after the New York Yankees acquired Giancarlo Stanton.
FILE PHOTO: Jul 5, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; Former New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda (35) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
FILE PHOTO: Jul 5, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; Former New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda (35) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2017, file photo, Miami Marlins part owner Derek Jeter speaks during a press conference in Miami. Jeter is trying to revive a moribund Marlins franchise, and so far the former New York Yankees captain appears out of his league as a CEO. (Taimy Alvarez/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)
Agent Boras: Marlins turning into 'pawn shop' under Jeter
FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2017, file photo, Miami Marlins part owner Derek Jeter speaks during a press conference in Miami. Jeter is trying to revive a moribund Marlins franchise, and so far the former New York Yankees captain appears out of his league as a CEO. (Taimy Alvarez/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)
<p>The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired outfielder Marcell Ozuna in a trade with the Miami Marlins, <a href="https://twitter.com/CraigMish/status/941004846035034113" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:according" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">according</a> to Craig Mish of Sirius XM.</p><p>The deal is pending a physical, <a href="https://twitter.com/JesseSanchezMLB/status/941005900323741697" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:according" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">according</a> to MLB.com&#39;s Jesse Sanchez.</p><p>Further details about who is headed to the Marlins have not been disclosed yet. </p><p>Ozuna finished last season as an All-Star, Silver Slugger and Gold Glove award winner after hitting 37 home runs with a .312 batting average and 124 RBIs. Ozuna is in his second season of arbitration eligibility and will not hit the free agent market until after the 2020 season. </p><p>The Cardinals were interested in Giancarlo Stanton before he was traded to the New York Yankees in exchange for second baseman Starlin Castro and prospects. The Marlins had agreed to the framework of a deal with the Cardinals and Stanton met with the team before rejecting the trade.</p><p>The Cardinals already have Tommy Pham, Dexter Fowler and Stephen Piscotty on their roster as outfield options.</p>
Report: Marcell Ozuna Traded To Cardinals From Marlins

The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired outfielder Marcell Ozuna in a trade with the Miami Marlins, according to Craig Mish of Sirius XM.

The deal is pending a physical, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.

Further details about who is headed to the Marlins have not been disclosed yet.

Ozuna finished last season as an All-Star, Silver Slugger and Gold Glove award winner after hitting 37 home runs with a .312 batting average and 124 RBIs. Ozuna is in his second season of arbitration eligibility and will not hit the free agent market until after the 2020 season.

The Cardinals were interested in Giancarlo Stanton before he was traded to the New York Yankees in exchange for second baseman Starlin Castro and prospects. The Marlins had agreed to the framework of a deal with the Cardinals and Stanton met with the team before rejecting the trade.

The Cardinals already have Tommy Pham, Dexter Fowler and Stephen Piscotty on their roster as outfield options.

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