Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagamedov are two of the UFC’s biggest stars right now. The Irishman was the first male UFC fighter to truly break the mainstream. Meanwhile, Khabib’s rivalry with The Notorious added to his global appeal. Furthermore, as a devout Muslim, he’s adored in the Arab world.
However, both men are currently stranded in their native countries of Ireland and Russia. So the big question is when will we see either of them in action again? With Khabib also observing Ramadan, it’s going to be a while until he’s fit to fight. Meanwhile, the travel situation has to change before McGregor can come to the US.
Now both Dana White and Khabib have commented on the two fighters’ situations. They’ve offered timeframes for their desired returns. Hopefully, it will be sooner rather than later, but only time will tell in the current situation. Check out their messages below.
Khabib endured a lot of criticism on social media after returning to Russia. He was meant to fight Tony Ferguson but that clash fell apart for an unprecedented fifth time. Russia closed its borders, preventing him from leaving the country. Furthermore, the UFC didn’t communicate their plans properly with him. ‘The Eagle’ is sick of being accused of ducking fighters. He wrote on Instagram:
“I can fight anytime. Ramadan finishes May 23. In July, I’m gonna be ready. Stop talking about me. This is coronatime; when Khabibtime comes, I smash all of them.”
Justin Gaethje will fight Tony Ferguson this weekend for the interim title at UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Florida. The winner of that fight will surely take on Khabib. But who knows what will happen in these crazy times?
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) May 6, 2020
Meanwhile, Dana White spoke about Conor McGregor’s situation. He told Barstool Sports that the Irishman is ready to return. He wants to fight next month. But will it be against Jorge Masvidal? White insists that McGregor wants to fight. However, there is a travel ban in place between the US and Europe. It’s out of their hands. White said:
“Conor wants to fight, it sounds like he wants to fight in June and he’s asking if there would be fans there. There would not be fans, and the fight would be in mid-June or the end of June. But Conor wants to fight.”
The big question is who will McGregor fight next? White spoke about Masvidal and described that potential match-up as interesting. It’s a far cry from before. Previously, he described ‘Gamebred’ as ‘too big’ for McGregor. However, Al Iaquinta beat Masvidal at lightweight. In short, McGregor fancies his chances. He told Jim Rome:
“People are writing stories like I said yesterday that we’re going to do Conor vs. Masvidal. I never said that. The guys that I was doing an interview with were pushing me on that fight and I’m like yeah it’s interesting. Anything is possible. I didn’t say that was the fight that was going to happen. People are writing that today but not true.”
One thing is for sure, McGregor brings eyes. The UFC canceled multiple events because of the global health crisis. So they will be desperate to get him on board. A clash with Masvidal would be exciting. Who do you think wins?