UFC president Dana White says Conor McGregor will be stripped of his lightweight title if he keeps his plans of a September return — and that Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov would happen for the undisputed belt.
Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov might happen for the undisputed UFC lightweight title, according to Dana White.
The UFC president said on FOX Sports 1’s UFC Fight Night 124 post-fight show Sunday evening that the promotion is hoping to book the long-awaited matchup between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov for an event later this year. And if lightweight champ Conor McGregor decides to sit out until September as he currently plans, per White, he “absolutely” won’t return to the Octagon wearing a UFC belt, White said.
“Conor has said he’s thinking about coming back in September,” White said. “If he comes back in September, that’s almost two years — that can’t happen. It’s not fair to everybody else. Love Conor, respect Conor, love everything that he’s done for this company — everybody knows that; I say it all the time. The belt would have to move on.
“You do Khabib vs. Tony; we’re working on that fight now, and if and when Conor comes back, he would get the first crack at the title.”
McGregor won the 155-pound title with a TKO victory over Eddie Alvarez in November 2016, but since then, he has not stepped into the MMA cage once. Last August, he debuted in the boxing ring against Floyd Mayweather, falling by 10th-round TKO.
During the Irish superstar’s absence, Ferguson won the interim championship with a submission of Kevin Lee at UFC 216 last October. Nurmagomedov last defeated Edson Barboza via dominant decision at last month’s UFC 219.
White did not confirm which date the promotion is hoping to book Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov for.