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Despite fan opinion, UFC president Dana White believes former two-weight world champion, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor will fight for the lightweight title in his next Octagon outing.
The Dubliner returned from a fifteen-month hiatus in January – lodging a forty-second knockout victory over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, and despite explaining himself how he still needed work to do ahead of a potential 155-pound title tilt – White told how McGregor will “probably” fight for the championship next.
The championship in question – is scheduled to be defended by reigning champion, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov as he’s paired with longtime number one contender, Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson for a fifth time – this time at UFC 249 in April. With the ever-growing speculation that Nurmagomedov and Ferguson will once more fail to make the walk, in Brooklyn, McGregor has told how he is planning on potentially slotting in as a short-notice replacement.
Speaking on The Will Cain Show, White spoke about a potential timeline for McGregor’s Octagon return.
“Khabib (Nurmagomedov) and Tony (Ferguson) will fight in Brooklyn, and Conor (McGregor) will probably fight the winner. Conor’s talking about not wanting to wait (sic) that long, I don’t know what else makes sense, but who knows with that kid (Conor McGregor). The reason that everybody loves him so much is because he could say, ‘You know what, I want to fight this guy now,’ some other weight class or whatever. But, he keeps it fun.”
When asked when we could possibly see a bad-blooded rematch between Nurmagomedov and McGregor – White explained how Dagestan native Khabib will partake in Ramadan after his expected bout with Ferguson on April 18th.
Khabib will sit out after (to participate in Ramadan), so you’d be talking about Fall, September, October, or November.”
Ahead of his return in January – the narrative developed by McGregor, revolved around the theme of a 2020, “season“, which would include at least three Octagon appearances. The timeline for a lightweight title opportunity if Khabib remains champion – remains less than ideal for McGregor if he wants to keep up a busy schedule.
A potential BMF championship bout against Jorge Masvidal has been put on the back-burner for the time being – after White explained how he will challenge Kamaru Usman in July at International Fight Week in the main event of the expected UFC 252 card in Las Vegas, Nevada. Other potential opponents for McGregor if he elects to remain active, are perennial lightweight contender, Justin Gaethje, and former two-time foe, Nate Diaz.
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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