Conor McGregor might not be fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov in a rematch at UFC 242, but there’s still the chance we see these two bitter rivals fight each other again down the road.
On Tuesday, it was made official that the UFC lightweight champion Nurmagomedov will battle interim champion Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 242 on September 7 in Abu Dhabi. This of course means that Conor McGregor won’t be getting the rematch he so desperately craves, at least not until we see what happens between Nurmagomedov and Poirier. The announcement also meant that Tony Ferguson and Donald Cerrone are temporarily out of the running for a title fight against Nurmagomedov.
But according to Dana White, there’s still a very good chance we see Nurmagomedov and McGregor fight in a rematch. In fact, the UFC president said the rematch is almost certainly going to happen at some point, and confirmed that McGregor is pressing him for the fight.
“I absolutely could [see a rematch],” White told ESPN SportsCenter (transcribed by MMAFighting.com). “Conor wants that fight. Conor wants the rematch with Khabib.”
Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov first locked horns at UFC 229 last October in Las Vegas in what was the biggest pay-per-view blockbuster event in MMA history. The fight was mostly a blowout, with Nurmagomedov eventually winning via fourth-round submission, and then the rest is history. There was a major post-fight brawl that night between the two fighters’ camps that resulted in both fighters and numerous others being fined and suspended, an incident which White said was terrible for the sport but which made the rivalry even more intense. Neither fighter has stepped into the Octagon since that fateful night.
That will all change soon. We know now that Nurmagomedov is back in camp for the Poirier fight, and White confirmed Conor McGregor is back in training as well.
“He’s training,” White said. “Obviously we’ll sit back and we’ll watch how this whole thing plays out with these fights and see where Conor fits in and what he wants to do next.”
Conor McGregor may be forced to take another fight just to get the rust off, but make no mistake about it, he wants to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov again, and with so much money on the table, don’t be surprised if the UFC finds a way to get these two rivals locked into the cage with each other once again before 2019 is up. Ultimately, it’s just too big a fight for the UFC to ignore.