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UFC 242: Dana White Says Tony Ferguson is Next For Khabib Nurmagomedov, But Leaves Door Open to Conor McGregor Rematch

Following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s [1] win at UFC 242, UFC President Dana White confirmed that Tony Ferguson will be offered a fight with the lightweight champ next. But, if Ferguson can’t go, it looks like White will push for Nurmagomedov – Conor McGregor 2.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

Nurmagomedov’s latest victory

Dustin Poirier was booked to face Nurmagomedov in Saturday’s main event, after winning the interim title this past April, by defeating Max Holloway. Poirier threatened with a flurry of punches in round two, and a guillotine choke in round three, but aside from that, it was all Khabib. The champ’s wrestling and top game dominated much of the action and Nurmagomedov sunk in a fight-ending, rear-naked-choke in the third frame.

White’s comments about Khabib’s next bout

For weeks there’s been no shortage of talk and debate about who would be next for Nurmagomedov, provided he won at UFC 242. Since Ferguson has won 12 straight, and that run includes winning the interim belt, there’s been widespread calls for “El Cucuy” to get the next shot. Even Nurmagomedov and Poirier both stated before UFC 242 Ferguson should be next, without question.

Well, shortly before Saturday’s card, White confirmed that Ferguson will be next if he’s “ready”.  [2]After UFC 242, White was, of course, asked about this again, and here’s what he said.

“Tony Ferguson gets the next shot and obviously if for whatever reason Tony can’t take the fight or doesn’t want the fight at that time then we would figure out what was next but Conor would make a lot of sense,” White said.

“Conor McGregor wants that fight really badly and I’m sure the fans would want to see it. So we’ll see how this whole thing plays out.”

Now, McGregor has repeatedly called for a rematch with Khabib, and he did so again, after UFC 242. So, clearly that’s one side of the equation that the UFC won’t have to worry about, if indeed, Ferguson can’t fight.

Book my rematch for Moscow.

The big question is, however, will Nurmagomedov sign on to this? If Ferguson can’t go and the UFC pushes for a rematch with McGregor? To date, Khabib has repeatedly shot down the idea that McGregor deserves a rematch, and many agree with that. After all, McGregor hasn’t won a fight since 2016. Case in point, if Justin Gaethje defeats Donald Cerrone next weekend at UFC Vancouver, he will have won three in a row.

Further, would Khabib agree to a rematch simply because of a timing issue with Ferguson? Let’s say the former interim champ does get injured, and can’t fight for another six, eight months. Would Nurmagomedov agree to fight McGregor because of that? Or just hold out for Ferguson to return?

So…here’s hoping Ferguson’s ready to go and stays healthy.

Nurmagomedov faced McGregor last October at UFC 229, and submitted him round four.