YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Iole reported Conor McGregor plans to "return to the Octagon, most likely by the end of the first quarter next year." It is "unlikely McGregor fights by the end of the year," but it is "not completely out of the question." Whenever McGregor chooses to fight again, it "almost certainly will be in the UFC." The odds of McGregor fighting his one-time sparring partner, ex-boxing world champion Paulie Malignaggi, are "basically nil, despite Malignaggi’s public comments" in favor of such a match (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/19).
TIME KEEPS SLIPPING AWAY: In Atlanta, Mark Bradley noted the ALCS and NLCS games on Tuesday night had an "aggregate time" of 7 hours and 16 minutes. MLB got "lucky this October." Its final four teams "hail from our four biggest cities, which is dandy for TV purposes." Bradley: "But you have to wonder if even a Dodgers-Yankees World Series would hold our attention if every game requires a four-hour time investment" (AJC.com, 10/18).
BACK ON TRACK: In L.A., Charles Fleming noted the motor bike American Flat Track race schedule in '17 drew attendance that "topped 100,000 fans, up 76%" over '16 in the "first full year of its modern resurgence." An estimated 1.5 million viewers "watched races on NBCSN." An additional 250,000 "tuned in online via FansChoice.tv." American Flat Track CEO Michael Lock said, "This is our breakthrough season. We have taken the sport to a new level and a higher state of awareness than anything in the last 30 years" (L.A. TIMES, 10/18).