Khabib vs. Georges St-Pierre Was Late Father's Dream, Trainer Says - TMZ
It's starting to make more sense why Khabib Nurmagomedov so badly wants to fight Georges St-Pierre -- it was his father's plan.
It's starting to make more sense why Khabib Nurmagomedov so badly wants to fight Georges St-Pierre -- it was his father's plan. Khabib's dad, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, passed away back in July after battling COVID. Khabib and his dad were extremely close. Abdulmanap trained him since he was a little kid back in Dagestan. Khabib will step back in the Octagon for the first time since his father's death on Saturday to take on Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 ... but he's talked publicly about wanting GSP as his next opponent. We spoke with Khabib's trainer Javier Mendez who tells us he was with Khabib and his father in Dagestan back in 2019, when Abdulmanap talked about his dream for Khabib to fight St-Pierre. "I was present when they had that conversation," Mendez says ... "That was the one he talked about as the fight his father would want to see him fight GSP at 155 pounds." "His father respected GSP probably more than anybody out of all the people he admired ... and therefore he wanted his son to fight GSP at some point." In other words, it seems Khabib is calling out GSP in the hopes of honoring his father's wishes. In the meantime, Javier tells us he's been incorporating Abdulmanap's training techniques for the Gaethje fight -- reminding Khabib to follow "Father's Plan." "I've always used 'Father's Plan' because I want to honor the man who taught him everything," Mendez says.
NHL Postpones Winter Classic, All-Star Game Due To COVID-19 - TMZ
The NHL season will NOT be kicking off in the great outdoors -- 'cause the league has just officially postponed the 2021 Winter Classic.
The NHL season will NOT be kicking off in the great outdoors -- 'cause the league has just officially postponed the 2021 Winter Classic. The Minnesota Wild were set to host the St. Louis Blues at Target Field in Minneapolis on Jan 1 ... but NHL officials are now hoping to get it done in 2022, when fans can attend -- AKA, when we're hopefully not still in a pandemic. The All-Star Weekend festivities -- scheduled to go down in Jan. 2021 -- has also been pushed, the league said Thursday. "Fan participation, both in arenas and stadiums as well as in the ancillary venues and events that we stage around the Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend, is integral to the success of our signature events, NHL Senior EVP and COO Steve Mayer said in a statement. "Because of the uncertainty as to when we will be able to welcome our fans back to our games, we felt that the prudent decision at this time was to postpone these celebrations until 2022 when our fans should be able to enjoy and celebrate these tentpole events in-person, as they were always intended." The league says it still plans to start its 2021 season at the beginning of the year ... so, at least there WILL be hockey ... just indoors. Hopefully.
John Fogerty Demands Donald Trump Stop Playing 'Fortunate Son' - TMZ
John Fogerty is outraged President Trump is playing one of his very personal songs at campaign rallies, because the song actually takes aim at people like him.
John Fogerty is outraged President Trump is playing one of his very personal songs at campaign rallies, because the song actually takes aim at people like him. Fogerty says he's issuing a cease and desist order ... demanding that Trump and co. refrain from playing Creedence Clearwater Revival's massive hit, "Fortunate Son." Fogerty, who sang the song in both the group and as a solo artist, made it clear it's personal ... "I wrote this song because, as a veteran, I was disgusted that some people were allowed to be excluded from serving our country because they had access to political and financial privilege. I also wrote about wealthy people not playing their fair share of taxes." John made it clear, he doesn't endorse DT. There have been other attempts to get Trump to stop playing other songs at his rallies, but the law allows it. Still, the artists can voice their displeasure. As you may know, Trump never served in the military because he got a deferment -- first a student deferment, and then a 1-Y deferment after he was diagnosed with bone spurs. And, he grew up in a house of privilege, something Fogerty sings about. In other words, Donald Trump was a fortunate son. By the way ... if you haven't heard "Fortunate Son," give it a listen. It's fantastic.
John Legend Performs Tribute at the Billboard Music Awards - TMZ
John Legend has made a heartfelt and triumphant return to the stage -- his first time performing since the loss of his unborn child with Chrissy Teigen.
John Legend's first time onstage since he and Chrissy Teigen's third child died -- moments after a premature birth -- was as moving and heartwrenching as you'd expect. John performed "Never Break" Wednesday night for the Billboard Music Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. He lovingly dedicated the performance to Chrissy, after host Kelly Clarkson sent love to her and John. Kelly explained how both John and Chrissy "have this warm way of inviting us into their world, the highs and the lows," and then claimed this performance as possibly her favorite of the night. Easy to see why after watching him perform this moving ballad. John and Chrissy shared the heartbreaking news last month that the baby they named Jack had passed due to complications that included severe bleeding from the placenta. The couple had been very open with fans, sharing everything from the moment doctors put Chrissy on bed rest, and even once she had to be admitted to the hospital to get blood transfusions. Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media. Since revealing the heartbreaking news, the couple's taken time to themselves to mourn as a family ... with their kids, Luna and Miles. No one would've blamed John if he'd skipped the Billboard performance, and the fact he did it was a powerful tribute to Jack. As Chrissy said last month, "We will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it."
Coronavirus Vaccine Could Result in Half a Million Shark Deaths - TMZ
A possible COVID-19 vaccine relies on shark livers, and conservationists are warning it could decimate the shark population.
A possible COVID-19 vaccine relies on shark livers, and conservationists are warning it could decimate the shark population. A British pharmaceutical company called GlaxoSmithKline currently manufactures a flu vaccine, which includes shark squalene, which is a natural oil produced in the liver. It's known to create a strong response from the recipient's immune system. The company plans to produce A BILLION DOSES of a coronavirus vaccine, which would include shark squalene. An environmental group called Shark Allies, claims a quarter-of-a-million sharks would have to be killed to produce the necessary amount of squalene for one dose per person. If 2 doses are required -- which may well be the case -- we're talking half a million sharks that would be killed. Stefanie Brendl, who runs Shark Allies, says, "Harvesting something from a wild animal is never going to be sustainable, especially if it's a top predator that doesn't reproduce in huge numbers. Squalene is a coveted ingredient in cosmetics and machine oil. Estimates are that 3 million sharks are killed every year for squalene. BTW ... Orca whales prey on shark livers and can almost surgically remove them. Some shark livers weigh as much as 180 lbs.
Demi Lovato's ex-fiancé, Max Ehrich, Says He Learned of Breakup From Tabloids - TMZ
Demi Lovato's ex-fiance, Max Ehrich, had some choice words about their breakup, saying he learned about it from the media while he was filming a movie to lift people up.
Demi Lovato's ex-fiance, Max Ehrich, had some choice words about their breakup, saying he learned about it from the media while he was filming a movie to lift people up. Erich posted his thoughts early Saturday AM, saying, "imagine finding out the status of your relationship through a tabloid ... while your in the middle of filming a biopic movie about a Pastor in a Christian Church whose intention of the film is to help people." For her part, Demi was clearly telegraphing her singleness, posting a pic sans engagement ring. In case fans didn't get her point, her t-shirt had the following words emblazoned on it ... "Dogs over people." Demi and Max got engaged 2 months ago on the beach in Malibu. Max, a regular on "Young and the Restless," and Demi began dating in March. As for why they split ... some reports say Max got tricky on the Insta's of Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande. Demi scoffed at the reports, saying they were fake.
Emmys Going Full 2020 With Trophy Presenters In Hazmat Suits - TMZ
Emmys 2020 presenters will be inside full hazmat suits to hand out awards during the show.
The Emmys are going full 2020 ... presenters will be wearing complete hazmat suits to hand out awards as safely as possible during a deadly pandemic. Ya gotta see the getup for the presenters who will be visiting some of the winners live during Sunday night's broadcast ... they're gonna look like a more dapper version of Dustin Hoffman in "Outbreak." The Emmy Awards are mostly virtual this year, what with social distancing and all, but producers say there will be some in-person interaction, which creates the need for the Emmy-branded hazmat suit. We've seen Howie Mandel slip on a hazmat suit and gas mask on his way into the "America's Got Talent" set ... and even the famous germaphobe would probably feel safe in this year's Emmys outfit. The hazmat suit has designer roots ... it's created and designed by Katja Cahill, the famous costume designer who usually dresses Academy Awards presenters, and executive producer Guy Carrington, who worked with a hazmat manufacturer to customize the suits. Pretty on-brand for 2020.
Cop Shoved Raptors President Masai Ujiri Twice During NBA Finals, Video Shows - TMZ
Here it is ... video proof Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri was SHOVED FIRST in an altercation with a sheriff's deputy during the 2019 NBA Finals.
Here it is ... video proof Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiriwas SHOVED FIRST in an altercation with a sheriff's deputy during the 2019 NBA Finals. It's shocking footage considering the claims made by the deputy which painted Ujiri as the main aggressor in an incident that left him with multiple injuries. Remember, a spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff's Dept. initially claimed they would pursue CRIMINAL CHARGES against Ujiri for allegedly striking the deputy in the moments after the Raptors won the title over the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Ujiri had denied wrongdoing -- but the deputy was adamant the NBA honcho committed misdemeanor battery on a law enforcement officer. Now, new bodycam footage shows exactly how things went down -- and it seems obvious the cop overreacted in a dangerous way. The footage shows Ujiri trying to pull out his credentials in a peaceful, nonthreatening way but the deputy freaked out and put his hands on Masai!!! You can hear the deputy, Alan Strickland, tell Ujiri to "back the f*ck up" while shoving him in the chest. Strickland pushed Ujiri again -- this time with two hands and using very aggressive force. Ujiri replies, "Why did you push me? Im the president of the Raptors." That's when Ujiri responds by shoving back at the officer, but at that point ... what else is he supposed to do? He felt he was being attacked!?! And, don't forget this part ... Strickland filed a federal lawsuitagainst Ujiri, the Raptors and the NBA back in February claiming he suffered serious injuries to his teeth, head, jaw and chin. And, don't forget, officials initially said deputy claimed the altercation started because Ujiri didn't have the proper credentials -- but the video blows that whole argument out of the water. Ujiri's attorneys told KTVU the video proves Deputy Alan Strickland was "undeniably the initial aggressor." Good luck arguing against that after watching the video.
Toronto Raptors Anthem Singer Jessie Reyez Kneels For 'O Canada' Atop CN Tower - TMZ
Reyez knelt for the entire duration of the song.
Grammy-nominated singer Jessie Reyez just took a knee atop the CN Tower for the singing of "O Canada" before an NBA playoff game Monday ... and the video of the performance is powerful. The Toronto Raptors posted the footage just before their tilt with the Brooklyn Nets ... showing Reyez on one knee singing the Canadian national anthem while locked into a harness at the top of the famous building. Reyez' rendition of lasted for nearly 2 minutes ... and the shots of her on the ledge of the 1,800-foot-tall building were breathtaking. You can also see in the video, she's wearing a mask around her neck that reads, "Breonna Taylor." Of course, the 29-year-old's kneeling -- which went on for the duration of the song -- is clearly a showing of support for Colin Kaepernick in the fight to shine a spotlight on police brutality and social injustice. In the NBA bubble, meanwhile, players and coaches continued with their demonstrations during the anthems ... with Raptors and Nets locking arms and kneeling on the court while Reyes' song played. As we previously reported, the NBA has made countless efforts this summer to raise awareness for racial equality ... including suspending the rule that forced players to stand for pregame anthems. President Trump has spoken out strongly against the kneeling demonstrations -- saying he will not watch the games as long as the league allows players to (in his words) "disrespect our flag."
Raptors Asst. Coach Adrian Griffin Denies Dom. Violence Claims Made By Ex-Wife - TMZ
Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin is "vehemently" denying domestic violence allegations made by his ex-wife ... saying they're simply not true.
Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin is "vehemently" denying domestic violence allegations made by his ex-wife ... saying they're simply NOT TRUE. Audrey Griffin posted a long message on Twitter Thursday ... claiming she experienced several incidents of violence from Adrian -- including when she was pregnant. "How can someone continuously get away with abuse, almost take a life choking them while on the floor and almost passes out, throw them into a wall making a hole as big as their body, drag them across a lawn while pregnant ..." part of Audrey's message says. Audrey continued ... "One thing I have realized is that I have been quiet and accepting of abusive behavior for far too long. And me staying silent has allowed sin to thrive. I cant be quiet anymore. Its too much to bear." Adrian -- who starred at Seton Hall University and played 9 years in the NBA -- just released a statement through the Raptors ... saying his ex-wife is flat-out lying. "This morning, accusations were made against me on social media by my former wife that I vehemently deny," Adrian says. "We are involved in a longstanding legal dispute over alimony and child support arrangements. I am disappointed to have to address false accusations in this way, and I apologize for any distraction this has potentially caused for our team at this important time." The Raptors added ... "When we saw these allegations this morning, we were dismayed -- Adrian is a valuable member of our team." "Our leadership immediately spoke with him, and he flatly denied the allegations in the posts. We will support the process as he and his former partner settle these matters."