UFC president Dana White and undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov are siding together in regards to what UFC superstar Conor McGregor must do in order to get another title shot. White revealed to BT Sport that McGregor’s next fight must be contested in the 155-pound lightweight division to net him another chance at Nurmagomedov’s lightweight title, which is the same thing the current champ said earlier in the week.
“It’s 155 pounds,” White said.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) October 21, 2020
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McGregor’s Next Fight ‘Means Nothing at 170’
McGregor seems to be on his way to fighting 155-pound contender Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier on January 23 in a rematch of a fight McGregor won via first-round knockout six years ago.
Both McGregor and Poirier have publicly accepted the fight on social media, and the fight has generally been considered by most to be on its way to happening.
I accept, Jan 23rd is on!
My goal is to see this fight take place in Cowboy stadium. Proper Style! Jerry Jones is a friend and the stadium can hold our crowd. I will be ready for Texas and Texas will be ready for my fans!
Then Manny. #McGregorSportsandEntertainment
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 14, 2020
But White’s revelation that he’s standing by Nurmagomedov about McGregor vs. Poirier 2 having to be fought in the lightweight division is part of a continuing powershift in the sport. Perhaps just a few years ago, McGregor would be given whatever he wanted in regards to his next fight.
“I’m not putting on a freaking multi-million dollar fight at a catchweight that means nothing,” White said. “That fight means nothing at 170. Neither one of those two are ranked at 170 pounds and it doesn’t do anything in the  pound division if either one of them win cause they’re fighting at 170. It literally makes no sense.”
McGregor vs. Poirier 2 Contracts Not Signed…Yet
White told TSN that the contracts for McGregor vs. Poirier 2 had not yet been signed, but that things seemed to be moving in that direction.
“We’ve offered the fight. We got him his own date,” White said. “That wasn’t a date, that date didn’t exist. We worked with ESPN, we got him his own date and we’ve offered them the fight.”
So all the company seems to be waiting on right now is both fighters’ names on the dotted line.
“I know that contracts haven’t been signed yet,” White said. “Conor likes to play games. Conor plays games and he does his thing. One thing Conor doesn’t do, Conor doesn’t commit to a fight and then not fight. Conor fights.”
Khabib’s Demand to McGregor and Poirier: ‘You Have To Make 155’
That hard stance about McGregor’s next fight is virtually the same thing Nurmagomedov told TSN on Monday.
While Nurmagomedov has gone back and forth about whether he thinks the winner of McGregor vs. Poirier 2 would get a shot at the lightweight title, he at least was clear to TSN that the contest would have to be in the 155-pound lightweight division for him to consider it.
“I still feel this but you have to fight at 155,” Nurmagomedov said. “If they fight at 170 or 185, this is not lightweight contender fight. If you want to fight at lightweight contender for the belt you have to fight at lightweight. What is this, like? ‘OK, I’m champion at 155. OK, give me a fight at 170. OK, let’s make weight with Justin Gaethje at 170.’ Same thing. If you want to fight for the title at 155, you have to make 155.”
Khabib: ‘Why Are You Going To Fight at 170?’
Both McGregor and Poirier are ranked at 155. However, McGregor’s first fight back in the UFC back in January at UFC 246 against Donald Cerrone was contested at 170 pounds.
Knowing that information, Poirier revealed he would be willing to face McGregor in the 170-pound welterweight division if that’s what needed to happen.
But Nurmagomedov doesn’t agree McGregor should be able to dictate those kinds of terms.
“I don’t understand why Dustin show his weakness,” Nurmagomedov said. “This is just my opinion. You have to say something. Hey, this is my opinion. He has to do something to it. OK, they ask him to fight. Conor say ‘I’m going to donate you money.’ He said, ‘Yes, yes, yes, anywhere,’ but Dustin is a lightweight fighter. He’s not a welterweight fighter. Why are you going to fight at 170? If you want to fight for the title next, you have to…fight in the lightweight division.”
It’s one thing for Nurmagomedov to take the hardline stance against his longstanding rival McGregor. It’s quite another for White to have backed him up on it and in such a public manner.
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