Conor McGregor has been adamant that he wants the rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov later this year. Yet, that may not be the case anymore.
In the main event of UFC 249, Tony Ferguson will battle Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title. The winner of that will scrap Nurmagomedov for the undisputed lightweight title according to Dana White.
“Everybody felt that if Conor was going to get a shot at Khabib that actually Gaethje should get it before Conor,” White said when speaking to ESPN (via MMAFighting). “I mean it couldn’t have worked out any better. You get Gaethje vs. Tony. It’s the fight that makes sense. It’s two of the top guys in the world. Khabib is out so the winner will face Khabib.”
McGregor has said he wanted three fights in 2020 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic that may not be possible anymore. According to White, he doesn’t know what will be next for the Irishman now that Ferguson and Gaethje are booked.
“This impacts everybody,” White said. “There’s three fights that have already been postponed, we’re going to work out over the next several weeks and I don’t know where this puts anybody. Conor really wants that rematch with Khabib. Well, Khabib and Tony or Gaethje won’t fight now until probably September.”
Not only will UFC 249 impact Conor McGregor but it will impact the entire lightweight division according to White.
“Nobody saw this coming,” White said. “This is one of those things you can’t predict or see coming. It happened but we’re rolling with it and we’re going to get it figured out.”
McGregor last fought back at UFC 246 where he knocked out Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds to return to the win column after the loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229. With the lightweight division stalled the Nate Diaz trilogy could very well be next for the Irishman.