Khabib Nurmagomedov has responded to UFC president Dana White’s plans depending on the outcomes of two 2020 events.
On April 18, Nurmagomedov is scheduled to defend the UFC lightweight championship against Tony Ferguson. The bout is expected to headline UFC 249 in Brooklyn, NY. Exactly three months prior, Conor McGregor will return to action to take on Donald Cerrone in a welterweight clash.
Khabib Reacts To Dana White’s Plans For McGregor Rematch
White told BT Sport that if McGregor defeats Cerrone and if “The Eagle” gets past Ferguson, then a rematch between the two will follow (via MMAFighting).
“If Conor can get through ‘Cowboy’ and Khabib can get through Tony, then we’d be looking at a rematch with Conor and Khabib down the line here pretty soon,” White said in an interview with BT Sport.
“Conor was interested in Masvidal, too, but I think he wants Khabib first at 155,” White said.
Speaking to reporters, Nurmagomedov gave an unfavorable reaction to White’s comments (h/t Chamatkar Sandhu).
“I’m surprised Dana White is saying that if Conor beats Cerrone and I beat Tony Ferguson, there will be a rematch. I decided who I’m going to fight next… But to think he deserves the lightweight belt, while I’m champion that won’t happen.”
Many have argued that McGregor winning a welterweight bout is meaningless when it comes to the lightweight title picture. In an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, White argued that McGregor’s resume validates another title opportunity.
“Come on, guys. Look at what Conor’s done over the last however many years, and then he loses to Khabib, in a fight that was….when you talk about bad blood, it’s like next level of bad blood,” White told ESPN before turning his attention to Justin Gaethje. “And Gaethje was on his way up, too. We’ve offered Gaethje a lot of fights that Gaethje hasn’t taken, either. So Conor is in line next for this fight if he beats Cowboy.”