Conor McGregor has stepped up plenty of times in the past when the UFC has needed him but it turns out his phone never rang when the promotion was searching for a replacement to face Khabib Nurmagomedov on six days notice.
It was a crazy 24-hour stretch after Tony Ferguson suffered a knee injury that forced him to drop out of UFC 223, leaving Nurmagomedov without an opponent. The UFC eventually secured featherweight champion Max Holloway as a replacement and he will now face Nurmagomedov to crown a new lightweight champion on Saturday night in Brooklyn.
As it turns out as much as the idea of McGregor stepping into face Nurmagomedov on short notice sounds interesting, UFC president Dana White says that was never an option.
“I don’t think Conor McGregor could make the weight on six days notice. That’s a tough weight cut for him. And Conor isn’t exactly the guy I want to throw in as a late replacement fighter,” White explained when speaking to ESPN on Sunday. “He’s a guy I want to make a fight with, have the right amount of time to promote the fight, have the fight in the right place.
“No, I’m not interested in asking Conor to take the fight. I think that Conor could return in September and it could be against one of these guys.”
“Conor isn’t exactly the guy I want to throw in as a late replacement fighter,” ~ Dana White
McGregor hasn’t fought in the UFC since 2016 when he became lightweight champion with a second round knockout against Eddie Alvarez.
His return to action will undoubtedly be one of the most talked about events of the year and White clearly had no interest in trying to promote that fight on only six days notice.
As for McGregor’s lightweight title, it appears he now has five days left as champion as White also confirmed that once Holloway and Nurmagomedov step into the cage together, they are competing for the undisputed championship at 155 pounds.
Assuming that all unfolds as scheduled, White says he hopes to get McGregor back in the late summer or early fall with designs on him facing the winner of Holloway vs. Nurmagomedov.
“As soon as these guys step in the ring and throw a punch, it’s on for the title,” White confirmed. “Whoever wins, wins the title and we’ll see what happens with Conor over the next several months.
“I know he had expressed some interest in fighting in September.”
What do you think about Conor McGregor not being offered the chance to replace Tony Ferguson at UFC 223? Sound off in the comments and let us know!