UFC president Dana White claims the promotion never considered matching up Conor McGregor against Jorge Masvidal or Kamaru Usman.
Both Masvidal and Usman were in attendance at UFC 246 last month when McGregor knocked out Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds. Immediately after McGregor got his hand raised, speculation began to pour in about either Masvidal or Usman being the man who gets to fight McGregor next. Fans and media were already buzzing about the prospect of either fight.
Instead, White shut those ideas down when he said after the event that the UFC wants to match McGregor up against the winner of the UFC 249 main event between UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. The UFC bossman then revealed last week that the promotion is working towards having Usman fight Masvidal for the UFC welterweight title at International Fight Week in July.
According to White in an interview with MMAjunkie.com, this was the UFC’s plan the whole time for McGregor.
“There was never any talk about Usman or Masvidal. That was Conor. That’s madness. That’s crazy,” White said.
White once again reiterated that McGregor would be the next man to step in line and fight for the lightweight belt at UFC 249 if either Nurmagomedov or Ferguson is injured before the fight. According to White, McGregor is staying in shape just in case he has to step in on short notice.
“Conor’s thing right now is Conor thinks Tony vs. Khabib is going to happen and he wants to slide into that spot. So we’ll see how that plays out,” White said.
“He is ready, willing and able to slide into that spot if it becomes available”
Do you think the UFC is making the right call having Conor McGregor fight the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson and not Jorge Masvidal or Kamaru Usman instead?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/6/2020.