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McGregor eyes future in bare-knuckle promotion

Conor McGregor expressed interest in competing as a "player/manager" with BKFC, a bare-knuckle promotion where he currently serves as a co-owner.

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Conor McGregor, who announced earlier this year that he was a co-owner of Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships, also is expressing interest in competing as a "player/manager" once his UFC contract expires.

McGregor addressed his current contract situation at a news conference Thursday in Spain for the bare-knuckle promotion's upcoming event on Oct. 12.

"For me, I have a little business left [with the UFC], two fights left on my contract," McGregor said. "But for sure, we've got three lightweights up here on the dais and I have my eye on all of this. I'm not up here just as an owner -- 'player/manager' I'll title myself on this one."

One of the fights left on McGregor's current UFC contract is expected to be against Michael Chandler.

McGregor's return to the Octagon after a three-year hiatus was originally scheduled for UFC 303 on June 29. But a broken toe forced the former two-division champion out of the fight and sent the promotion scrambling for a last-minute replacement for the main event.

McGregor has since teased that his return was imminent and that he is confident a fight with Chandler would happen before the end of 2024. UFC president Dana White has suggested that the fight "has to happen," and it seems that all parties are looking to settle on a fight date sooner than later.

During his time away from fighting, McGregor has taken an interest in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships [BKFC]. His attendance at a recent event got the ball rolling on the Irishman striking a deal as a co-owner, and he now has set his sights on seeing the sport grow.

BKFC's biggest star, former UFC fighter Mike Perry, is set to face Jake Paul in a boxing match on July 20 -- and McGregor believes that it would be in other MMA fighters' best interest to try their hand at bare-knuckle fighting rather than compete elsewhere.

"This is a viable option and, in my opinion, the only option," McGregor said. "I don't want to see, nor do I give a f--- about UFC fighters going to PFL or another promotion. You need to break it up and try something new to really break into that next level of superstardom.

"How could you not look to be a two-sport world champion in something as wild as a bare-knuckle fighting organization? We've got the money, too. We have the dough. There are big payouts over here also. For any real fighter out there, that's all you want to hear: money, power and respect. It's all right here. Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships has it all."

But before McGregor can toss his hat into a BKFC ring, he knows he will have to fulfill his contractual obligations to the UFC.

"I'm just looking forward to getting back into the Octagon, handling my business with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and seeing what the future holds," he said.
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Pakistan

PTI seeks removal of chief election commissioner

In a petition filed before SJC, PTI Sindh leadership alleges ECP officials of failure to execute constitutional duties

Published by Hussnain Bhutta

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Islamabad: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Sindh leadership on Friday filed a complaint in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) seeking the removal of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja and five other members of the commission.

PTI Sindh President Haleem Adil Sheikh, Justice (retd) Noor ul Haq Qureshi and MPA Muhammad Shabbir lodged the complaint under Articles 209 (5) and (6) of the Constitution.

They alleged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) officials of failure to perform their constitutional duties, stealing the mandate of the PTI through rigging in the February 8 general elections and the malicious misrepresentation of the Supreme Court orders.

Barrister Ali Tahir submitted the complaint, which alleged the CEC and ECP officials of their embroilment in pre-election, election day, and post-election rigging.

Seeking inquiry into their claims, the plaintiffs said the defendants’ measures affected more than 120 million voters.

They submitted that the respondents have wrongfully declared candidates from the complainant's party as independents in the elections violating the spirit of the Constitution and the Supreme Court's orders, and undermining democracy in the country which they are bound to uphold.

Following the Supreme Court's verdict on petitions related to reserved seats, the complainants sought the immediate accountability of the respondent.

They submitted that the ECP attempted to undermine the PTI mandate, but the top court’s ruling had exposed unconstitutional and illegal activities of the election commissioners accounting for gross misconduct.

They contended that according to Article 224 of the Constitution, a general election must take place within 60 days of an assembly completing its term, or within 90 days if an assembly is dissolved prematurely.

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Pakistan

PM directs for early completion of Islamabad Technology Park

South Korean government provided funds for the project which will be completed by June 2025

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Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday directed the project team of Islamabad Technology Park and the Information Technology Ministry to complete the project within the current calendar year instead of the scheduled completion date of June 2025.

The prime minister, during his visit to the under-construction site of the country’s largest Islamabad Technology Park, said the project was launched in 2022 by the coalition government of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and the contract was awarded to a South Korean company.

He said the project was being completed at Rs25 billion out of which $70 million (soft loan) was being provided by the South Korean government.

“Soon after taking charge of my office, I issued directions to continue work on the project round the clock,” he said adding that he as chief minister of Punjab had introduced the system of 24-hour work on the development projects.

Expressing satisfaction over the progress of the project, PM Shehbaz asked the project management to try their best to complete the project by September or October this year.

He said after completion of the project, some 120 offices of different companies would be established in the park.

Similarly, he said an incubation center with 15 offices and startups would also be part of the park with a business support center where legal marketing and financial support facilities would be provided under one umbrella.

Around 10,000 productive jobs would be created in the IT park for the skilled and knowledgeable workforce, he said.

The prime minister highlighted that as a result of the construction of the IT park, the country’s exports would be increased by around $70 million per year.

He said a level 3 data center-one of the highest and first ever in Pakistan- would be established in the IT park.

He pointed out that Islamabad Technology Park would create synergy between domestic and foreign academia, researchers, industry and planners.

The prime minister vowed to replicate such projects in other parts of the country with cooperation of the the provincial governments.

He hailed the government of South Korea for their contribution in organising the project.

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