If there’s anything which motivates Conor McGregor as much as trying to tackle the most difficult challenges, it’s getting a second chance after he swings and misses.
The former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion’s enduring fan appeal is not rooted on the notion he’s unbeatable. Rather, McGregor chooses uphill climbs, from winning two weight-class titles to boxing Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Sometimes he gets knocked down, but he always gets back up, which plays a large role in his continued status as an A-list drawing card.
So it should come as no surprise that after taking on the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov and coming up short in a fourth-round submission loss at UFC 229, McGregor is already angling for a second crack at the current UFC champion.
“Conor McGregor has already called me wanting an immediate rematch,” UFC president Dana White told ESPN’s “First Take” on Monday.
McGregor has precedent for receiving immediate rematches. He lost to late replacement Nate Diaz at UFC 196 via second-round submission, then defeated Diaz via majority decision in their second clash at UFC 202, with both matchups fought at welterweight.
But there are obstacles in the way of a potential immediate rematch this time around. One, of course, being both Nurmagomedov and McGregor’s ongoing issues with the Nevada Athletic Commission following the postfight brawl. The other being there may be more intriguing matchups out there for the champion at the moment given Nurmagomedov beat McGregor in one-sided fashion, including the long-elusive fight between the champion and top contender Tony Ferguson.
The latter stated his case for the next title shot with a superlative performance at UFC 229, where he defeated former UFC and WEC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis for his 11th consecutive victory.
“We’ll see what happens with Khabib and what’s next,” White said. “I mean, Tony Ferguson looked amazing, those two have been lined up to fight three different times and it hasn’t happened, so we’ll see how this thing plays out.”