Conor McGregor is headed back to the Octagon in the main event of UFC 246 on January 18. The Irish superstar will meet fan favorite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a welterweight bout.
While this fight with Cerrone will not be a cakewalk, fans are already looking ahead to what might be next for McGregor if he wins.
UFC President Dana White has fanned the flames of speculation by claiming that McGregor will rematch his arch rival Khabib Nurmagomedov, provided he beats Cerrone and Nurmagomedov successfully defends his title against Tony Ferguson in April.
In an interview with ESPN, however, White divulged that things could take another course for McGregor.
If a fight with Nurmagomedov doesn’t materialize in a timely way, the Irish star could conceivably battle recent BMF champion Jorge Masvidal at welterweight.
“Conor has this idea too, that if things don’t go his way, he’ll have had a 170 [pound] fight in his pocket again, and [he’s] considering a Masvidal fight,” White said.
White has previously stated that he believes Masvidal is too big for McGregor, but McGregor has publicly begged to differ.
“I think everybody knows what I think about it,” White said. “I think it’s a bad idea. But Conor gets pissed off when I say it’s a bad idea. He’s like ‘you think I can’t beat Masvidal?’ You know, that whole thing. I’m not saying you can’t beat Masvidal, anybody can beat anybody on any given day, but why? Why go after that fight when you could possibly just wait [for Nurmagomedov]… But this is the reason why Conor McGregor is so intriguing and why so many fans love to watch him fight.
“And you’ve got to love the fact that the guy is willing to fight anybody,” White continued, praising McGregor. “I’ve said this before. I’ve been in the trenches when we’re standing in the living room and fighters pull out — Conor McGregor will fight anybody.”
According to White, though, McGregor will need to get past Cerrone for any of this to happen. He assures that isn’t a certainty.
“We’ll get through the Cowboy fight [first],” White said. “The level of disrespect… People forget that Cowboy has lost two in a row before and come back and gone on unbelievable runs. So let’s not count Cowboy out.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/13/2019.