Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White says a rematch with Conor McGregor could be next for Khabib Nurmagomedov if the no. 1 lightweight contender, Tony Ferguson, refuses to take the title fight.
Nurmagemodov tussled with Poirier in the main event of UFC 242 last Saturday in Abu Dhabi in what many consider the biggest lightweight fight to date.
Returning from a lengthy suspension, Nurmagomedov defended his lightweight belt for the second time since winning it last April 2018.
On his second title-retention bid, Khabib has preserved his winning streak after an emphatic win over Poirier.
Turning to his known grappling skill, Khabib caught Poirier in the third round, getting the submission at the 2:06 mark to unify the lightweight titles.
Khabib Nurmagomedov defeats Dustin Poirier to retain his UFC lightweight title. pic.twitter.com/63oM2yydS2
— ESPN (@espn) September 7, 2019
McGregor or Ferguson?
In the post-UFC 242 press conference, White confirmed that Ferguson, who has won 12-straight lightweight fights, is Khabib’s next opponent.
“Yeah he’s next. Tony Ferguson is next in line for the fight if he accepts the fight,” White told the media, per MMA Fighting.
“We’ll see how this thing plays out when Khabib will fight again and if Tony wants the fight.”
However, if Ferguson turns down the shot, the UFC will book Khabib for his rematch with ‘The Notorious.’
“Tony Ferguson gets the next shot and obviously if for whatever reason Tony can’t take the fight or doesn’t want the fight at that time then we would figure out what was next but Conor would make a lot of sense.”
“Conor McGregor wants that fight really badly and I’m sure the fans would want to see it. So we’ll see how this whole thing plays out.”
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) September 8, 2019
Ferguson Is On The Line
Khabib claimed that Ferguson is next for the title shot and guaranteed that the fight would be a barnburner.
“UFC make decision. I think yes, he deserve this. He’s on the line. It’s gonna be good fight.”
“You know what’s interesting, even (if you’re a) champion, even you’re undefeated, undisputed, even you have 28-0, like 12-0 in the UFC, people gonna talk about, ‘OK, this guy.'”
“Even if I beat Tony Ferguson, after Tony Ferguson they’re gonna bring some guy in. And they’re gonna promote him: ‘This guy gonna beat him.'”
“This is a game. After Tony, it’s not finished, nothing. But right now, I win this fight. Last two years was so busy for me, I feel so much pressure. Give me couple days for rest.”
— bet365 (@bet365) September 8, 2019
Meanwhile, McGregor has demanded a rematch with Nurmagomedov in Russia.
“Book my rematch for Moscow,” Conor wrote on Twitter.
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Tony Ferguson)