UFC president Dana White admitted to ESPN over the weekend that he was already thinking about what should come next for UFC superstar Conor McGregor after his next fight is over. McGregor takes on Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on January 23 in Abu Dhabi, and White hopes to put the Irishman in another big rematch just as soon as he can right after that fight is over.
“No matter what you think of Conor personally, Conor McGregor is not only one of the best in the world, but one of the best to ever do it. And right now, he’s as focused as he’s ever been. I don’t know if this is going to be the same Conor after the Poirier fight, but if this Conor sticks around for the next year, how do you not do Khabib vs. Conor again?” White said.
The implication is the the “focused as he’s ever been” McGregor will be too much for Poirier later this month, and that the Irishman will deserve another title shot vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov upon securing a victory at UFC 257.
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White Will Meet With Nurmagomedov
According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, White is aiming toward persuading UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov to come back for at least one more big fight. The two men are set to meet to go over Nurmagomedov’s future sometime next week.
“I’m obviously meeting with him because I think that he should fight again,” White said.
When that happens, White is hoping to convince Nurmagomedov to backtrack on the retirement plans he announced after beating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October. If that happens, White wants to get Khabib vs. McGregor 2 signed, sealed, and delivered as soon as he can.
“I think he should fight again, and I’m going to press him as hard as I can for one more,” White said.
UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2
UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2 will take place later this month on Yas Island, aka UFC Fight Island, in Abu Dhabi.
The main event bout is a lightweight rematch of a featherweight fight that took place back in September 2014 when McGregor defeated Poirier via first-round knockout at UFC 178.
But it would seem from White’s stated plans that he envisions McGregor beating Poirier again at UFC 257 and that he hopes Nurmagomedov would want to fight McGregor again, too.
Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor via fourth-round submission at UFC 229 in 2018. The first Khabib vs. McGregor fight was the best-selling pay-per-view event in UFC history, and some believe the rematch could do even bigger numbers.
So if things go as planned between White and Nurmagomedov later this week, and McGregor does get by Poirier as White seems to believe he will, there would appear to be no more important a fight to be made in the UFC, in White’s mind at least, than Khabib vs. McGregor 2.
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