On September 7, in the main event of UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will attempt to defend his title against interim champion Dustin Poirier. According to UFC President Dana White, it’s possible there will be another top lightweight in the building in Abu Dhabi: former champion Conor McGregor.
“Yeah, he could,” White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto when asked if McGregor might show up at the event (via Express). “He could, possibly.
“He hasn’t said [if he will],” the UFC boss continued. “I’m not [breaking any news]. He could, probably, show up to that fight. But I don’t know if he will. He hasn’t said anything to me.”
Conor McGregor has fought both Dustin Poirier and Khabib Nurmagomedov before. He defeated Poirier by knockout in the featherweight division several years ago, and lost to Nurmagomedov by submission last October.
McGregor’s rivalry with Nurmagomedov is particularly volatile, even after their October fight. In fact, it’s arguable their back-and-forth trash talk has been even more venomous since their encounter in the cage.
While the fans in the predominantly Muslim UAE are likely to support Nurmagomedov at UFC 242, White believes they’d also welcome McGregor.
“I honestly believe that in that region they like Conor McGregor too,” he said. “I know they take things a little serious when stuff is said but Khabib won the fight. And I think it’s all just trash talk leading up to. Obviously Khabib and Conor, there’s no love lost. Those guys do not like each other. But it’s part of the business.
“Culturally, I don’t think so. I would have no problem with Conor showing up there.”
Conor McGregor has not fought since his October loss since Khabib Nurmagomedov, and does not currently have a fight booked. That said, Dana White has been continually optimistic that the Irish super star will return to the cage sometime soon.
Do you think Conor McGregor will show up to UFC 242?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/25/2019.