It looks like Khabib Nurmagomedov’s convincing and violent marketing campaign has paid off. He was talking to Dana White in between dominating Edson Barboza at UFC 219, even waiting on him at his car to speak with him in the parking lot. Everything with Conor McGregor is still up in the air, so the UFC is now moving on with or without him. The plan right now is for Nurmagomedov to finally fight Tony Ferguson. It will depend on McGregor if that fight is for the interim or the undisputed UFC lightweight title.
“As long as Conor [McGregor] is willing to fight by March, we could do Khabib [Nurmagomedov] versus Tony [Ferguson]. We could do Khabib versus Tony and then the winner fights Conor for the title. Or, Conor doesn’t want to fight and wants to sit out until next fall, then we would have to make Khabib vs. Tony for the title – not the interim title.”
Don’t Care If The @ufc Approves, I’ll Cut @TheNotoriousMMA … Drop @TeamKhabib & Move Up To Welterweight Either B4 Or After I’m Done w/ This Division & Rid It Of The Trash At The Top. Pollution Has Accumilated Over The Years, Time To Clean House #DefendOrVacate🖕🏽😎-TheeChamp https://t.co/l6XkH50ZQY
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) December 31, 2017
“First of all, Conor is a smart kid. Conor is a very smart guy. He gets what happened with the Floyd [Mayweather] fight. Those are f-cking unicorns, those kind of fights, and I’ve never been afraid to pay Conor McGregor money. Conor brings the money in. We’ve laid out a very nice offer for him and he’s a smart kid, I think we’ll figure it out. I’ve always figured it out with him. I’ve always ended up getting a deal done with Conor McGregor. The question is, does he have so much money that he doesn’t care anymore and he doesn’t really want to fight? But that’s up to him.” — Dana White speaking to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports.
All of the ‘haters’ begging for the UFC to strip Conor McGregor may get their wish. According to Dana White, if McGregor doesn’t come back to the Octagon for no reason or another by March 2018 then it Khabib Nurmagomedov’s fight with Tony Ferguson will be for the real lightweight title. Either way, those two are going to fight. With Nurmagomedov’s new nutritionist and his weight on point, it seems like that match-up is finally in good hands.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/4/2018.