UFC president Dana White revealed Khabib Nurmagomedov’s next fight was “100%” guaranteed to be the fighter that wins the main event at UFC 249. While the UFC’s reigning lightweight champion couldn’t make it over to the U.S. to defend his title in the originally scheduled main event of UFC 249 even after the card had to be postponed from its original date of April 18 to its new date of May 9, the undefeated champ is sure to be next man up for the winner of the Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje battle.
White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that Nurmagomedov was lying in wait for the winner of Ferguson-Gaethje.
“The Ferguson-Gaethje fight is one of the most violent fights that you’ll ever see,” White said. “I guarantee that, that the fight is gonna be incredible.”
White: Ferguson-Gaethje ‘Going to Be an Incredible Fight’
White told Okamoto that he believes Ferguson and Gaethje will combine to produce dramatic action at UFC 249. The card will be telecast on ESPN+ pay-per-view live from VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire card will be fought in front of an empty arena with only a skeleton crew working the show to produce the fights for TV.
Still, those on hand at the event as well as the assumed hundreds of thousands watching UFC 249 on PPV from home are promised a real treat.
“Both of these guys, their style, you know, the way they fight, their mindset, this fight is unbelievably violent and going to be an incredible fight with two of the best in the world and the winner will fight Khabib for the title,” White said.
Conor McGregor Left Out in Cold?
But Okamoto either wanted to be sure he was hearing what White said correctly or the ESPN journalist wanted to get both the news and the confirmation on record. After all, Nurmagomedov’s next fight being virtually booked already means huge consequences for the rest of the lightweight field.
“So the winner is obviously guaranteed the next fight at Khabib?” Okamoto asked.
“One hundred percent,” White said.
That means Irish superstar Conor McGregor is going to be left waiting for a while in terms of getting another shot at Nurmagomedov who scored a fourth-round submission win over McGregor at UFC 229 in October 2018.
That fight was the best-selling UFC PPV in history. But with Nurmagomedov’s next opponent seemingly already booked, McGregor will now need to turn his full attention to his other various options.
You can watch Okamoto’s entire chat with White below.
Follow the Heavy on UFC Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!