Conor McGregor plans to be ready to step in should Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson withdraw from the UFC 249 main event, scheduled for April 18.
Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been booked to fight four times previous to no avail. While the entire combat sports world is hoping this fifth time will be the charm, there is understandably some pessimism and superstition surrounding the matchup. McGregor shares in those feelings, and is actually expecting one of the two men to withdraw from the fight once again.
In that event, he’ll be ready.
McGregor opened up on this topic in a brand new interview with Oscar Willis of The Mac Life, just weeks ahead of his UFC 246-headlining fight with Donald Cerrone.
“Likely something will happen there, so I’ll be ready to slide in for that belt,” McGregor said of this Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson fight. “So I’ll just have a good solid camp at 170 with no weight cut, a good fight. I know Donald’s a good fighter. [He has] great records. Most knockdowns, most head kicks, most fights, most rounds. He’s got a lot of UFC records under his belt. So I’ll get a great camp, a great fight, and then it’ll take me into the year. I’m looking at this as a season. This was the beginning of the season. Donald was the first one that I agreed to have a bout with, and here we are.”
As McGregor suggests, the first priority is this imminent bout with Cerrone. The UFC 246 card goes down on January 18 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The bout will be the first for McGregor since October of 2018, when he was submitted by Nurmagomedov in a bid to reclaim the UFC lightweight title. Despite the decisive end to his first fight with the champion, the animosity between them has continued to fester ever since.
Cerrone, on the other hand, is coming off a pair of stoppage losses to top lightweight contender Justin Gaethje and the upcoming title challenger Ferguson.
Do you think Conor McGregor will get the call to replace Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson at UFC 249?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/3/2020.