On August 26, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor will step into the boxing ring with undefeated pugilist Floyd Mayweather Jr. Win or lose, McGregor will make more for this fight than he ever has in mixed martial arts. Much more. This has led many fans to wonder if he’ll even bother returning to the UFC after his fight with Mayweather.
Earlier this week, however, McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh gave us some cause for optimism in this regard.
“He has said very clearly to me, it’s ‘get ready, we’re back in the cage for December,'” Kavanagh said on the MMA Hour. “I just hope somebody out there has sparked the interest in him to get excited about that.”
Now UFC President Dana White has elaborated on Kavanagh’s claim, suggesting that McGregor indeed plans to return to the Octagon, and that his desired fight is one with Khabib Nurmagomedov in Nurmagomedov’s native Russia.
“You know what Conor told me? He said, ‘I want Khabib in Russia,’” White told MMAjunkie on Wednesday at UFC headquarters. “Isn’t he (expletive) awesome? He’s like, ‘I want Khabib, in Russia.’ He’s awesome. Conor McGregor is a (expletive) unicorn. There’s nothing like him. He’s working on boxing Floyd Mayweather and then he’s talking about fighting Khabib in Russia right after.”
White then praised McGregor for his gutsiness and ambition:
“Those are the kind of things that make that kid a (expletive) superstar,” White said. “I’ve got guys telling me, ‘I don’t want to (expletive) – I don’t want to fight this guy, and I don’t want to do this.’ (Conor says), ‘I want Floyd Mayweather then I want (expletive) Khabib in Russia.’ How do you not love him? How do you not love Conor McGregor? Amazing.”
Do you think Conor McGregor will really fight Khabib Nurmagomedov in Russia this year? If so, what does this mean for Tony Ferguson?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/29/2017.