UFC President Dana White has denied that former champion Conor McGregor will be in attendance this weekend for the highly-anticipated 155-pound title unification bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champion Dustin Poirier.
Rumors had been swirling this week that former lightweight and featherweight champion McGregor might be in the building this weekend. McGregor has history with both halves of the title headliner, as he defeated Poirier via first-round knockout on his way to his successful 145-pound title bid, and lost to Nurmagomedov by fourth-round submission in his attempt to regain his lightweight title last year. However, White squashed those rumors on Thursday speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto confirming that McGregor won’t make the trip but will be keeping close tabs on the fight (via BJPenn.com).
“He won’t be here,” White said. “I talk to Conor, normally, twice a month. I talked to him last night, this morning. No, he won’t be here. But he’ll be watching.”
“He was talking about my sunburn yesterday, so we’re not talking about anything serious,” White laughed.
The last time Nurmagomedov and McGregor were in a room together they incited an all-in brawl after their much anticipated fight last October at UFC 229 which resulted in a litany of suspensions being handed to a number of fighters out as a result of the incident.
White also confirmed that if former interim champion Tony Ferguson is “ready” then he will get the next title shot at the winner of the main event at UFC 242:
“If Tony Ferguson’s ready (he gets the next title shot),” White said. “Tony Ferguson has been offered opportunities before that he hasn’t taken. If Tony’s ready, then yeah.”