Khabib Nurmagomedov’s next lightweight title defense is finally official, but an eventual Conor McGregor rematch remains very much in play.
On Tuesday, the Las Vegas-based promotion confirmed that Nurmagomedov will face interim champ Dustin Poirier in a title unification bout at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi on Sept. 7. Meanwhile, McGregor still looms large over the rest of the division, despite not having won a fight in the UFC since November 2016.
“He’s training,” White said of McGregor on ESPN’s SportsCenter. “Obviously we’ll sit back and we’ll watch how this whole thing plays out with these fights and see where Conor fits in and what he wants to do next.”
Prior to the UFC 242 headliner, another pivotal 155-pound matchup will take place this weekend when Tony Ferguson meets Donald Cerrone at UFC 238. The winner of that bout figures to have a say in the future of the lightweight title picture. Much depends on the outcomes of the two upcoming bouts, but White is open to the possibility of McGregor getting a return date with his Dagestani rival.
“I could, I absolutely could [see a rematch],” White said.
McGregor lost to Nurmagomedov by fourth-round submission at UFC 229, and after the bout both fighters were involved in a post-fight melee that began when “The Eagle” jumped out of the cage to attack Dillon Danis. The event was reportedly one of the biggest pay-per-view draws in promotion history, drawing an estimated 1.9 million buys.
“Conor wants that fight. Conor wants the rematch with Khabib,” White said. “All these guys have been fighting, again, this thing’s going to play out this weekend and then Sept. 7 in Abu Dhabi, and then we’ll figure out what’s next for Conor.”