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The A-Side Live Chat: Conor McGregor ‘retirement’ and sexual assault allegations, Anthony Pettis, UFC Philadelphia, ONE: A New Era, more

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This is The A-Side Live Chat on MMA Fighting.

Today on the show, we’ll be talking about the latest news regarding Conor McGregor. Is his latest retirement real or is it a negotiating ploy? The New York Times reported that McGregor is under investigation for sexual assault in Ireland. What does the future hold for the controversial former two-division UFC champion?

We’ll also discuss Anthony Pettis’ stunning knockout of Stephen Thompson at UFC Nashville. Where does Pettis go from here? Is he a legitimate threat in the UFC welterweight division? Do the recent successes of Pettis and Jorge Masvidal point toward a trend of smaller fighters thriving without cutting weight? And what should happen with Thompson?

In addition, the second UFC on ESPN offering — UFC Philadelphia — goes down this weekend headlined by a ridiculously good lightweight fight between Justin Gaethje and Edson Barboza. Is this a guaranteed Fight of the Year candidate? What are the paths to victory for both fighters? What are other big matchups on the card?

We will also speak about this weekend’s massive ONE Championship debuts of Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez. Is this the biggest ONE Championship event ever? Will Johnson and Alvarez be at all challenged? How will it all play out?

Also on tap, UFC president Dana White announced this past weekend that Henry Cejudo will likely move up to 135 pounds to challenge Marlon Moraes for T.J. Dillashaw’s now-vacated bantamweight title. Is that the right call? What is the future of the flyweight division? What about Aljamain Sterling and Pedro Munhoz? Can poor Jussier Formiga ever catch a break?

If there is time, we can also talk about the latest news involving Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal, as well as any other important developments coming out of UFC Nashville. Nate Diaz has been making a ton of noise on social media, Cain Velasquez is readying to make his pro wrestling debut, Mike Perry is back in action against Alex Oliveira, and Bellator 219 is coming up Friday night headlined by Saad Award vs. Brandon Girtz.

There is plenty to talk about, so join us to discuss all of the above and much more. All is up for discussion. The chat will start at our time of 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

As always, we’ll post the video window as the event draws near and answer any questions you might have if you post them in the comments below. For the comments you deem the most deserving, please click the “rec” button. Comments in green will get first priority.

Please link this page and use the hashtags #theaside or #chatwrappers on Twitter when you’re watching to tell everyone you’re taking part with us.

Audio-only versions of the podcast can be found on Soundcloud, iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher.