UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) continues to enjoy his downtime as he prepares for the birth of his first child, as well as chase the idea of fighting retired boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather. According to UFC president Dana White though, McGregor needs to start thinking about the winner of UFC 209’s co-main event.
In an interview with TMZ.com, White said ““I expect Conor’s next fight to be in the UFC, in mixed martial arts, and the winner of Khabib and Tony.” The timeline of such a bout would be dependent upon the health of whoever wins the bout Saturday night and McGregor’s return.
UFC 209 takes place on Saturday, March 4 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV and will feature Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) vs. Tony Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) to determine the interim lightweight champion. Both Khabib and Ferguson feel that McGregor is trying to duck a title-unifying matchup with either of them by chasing the Mayweather bout.
A fight between Mayweather and McGregor would likely dwarf any revenue of a potential bout on the UFC roster. White admitted that he’s no closer to booking the fight than he was one month ago. “I don’t know where we’re at. We’re nowhere. We’re nowhere with it,” White said. All three men were reportedly in Los Angeles this past weekend, but there were no confirmed talks about the fight.
White has been clear, despite McGregor saying otherwise at a fan Q&A session, that as long as McGregor is under contract to them, UFC will be a part of the negotiations. White has threatened legal action if UFC is not a part of the deal, and an epic fall for McGregor if he goes into business for himself.