Conor McGregor doesn’t have a title but he’s still the number one draw in the UFC. After beating Donald Cerrone, the world is out there for him again. Suddenly options have exploded in front of ‘The Notorious.’ He put on a sensational performance against ‘Cowboy.’ But who will he fight next?
If UFC President Dana White is to be believed it will be Khabib Nurmagamedov. McGregor has an incredibly toxic rivalry with the UFC lightweight champion and dropped his most recent defeat to the Russian in 2018. Then he sat on the sidelines for an entire year before bouncing back.
However, Team Khabib are not massively enthusiastic about this fight themselves. They’re demanding a record-breaking purse if it is to go ahead. Who do you think will win a potential rematch?
These Dagestanis have a deeply entrenched code of honor. In short, there’s no appetite to give the Irishman a handout. If this fight is going to go ahead then Khabib will need to get paid. That’s according to his father Abdulmanap who says they want to get revenge but only for the right price.
“We also need revenge against Conor, but give us $100 million,” Abdulmanap told Russian media outlet RIA Novosti. “The day after the fight against Ferguson, give us that amount, and then why not hold a rematch? I don’t know, maybe Dana White wants to arrange it (for that amount). He needs that fight.”
McGregor himself is tentative about fighting Khabib next. That’s not because he’s afraid but rather because he plans on staying active. Khabib fights Tony Ferguson in April and McGregor would like to fight again in March. Then the Russian is likely to take the summer off because of Ramadan. Realistically it will be the late Fall before they can get it on.
“I don’t think the who matters,” McGregor said at the UFC 246 post-fight press conference. “Okay, the lightweight title will be there. That will be there. You see the difference in the physique, the preparation and that. That will come back around, that shot. I’m certainly not gonna – if [Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson] does go ahead – sit out and wait and then wait through holidays and injuries and all this type of thing that goes with it. The who doesn’t matter for me now. I’m looking at dates now and I know March was there. I’m gonna have a look at the calendar and see where we’re at.”
Of course, there is always the chance that Tony Ferguson beats Khabib. The 10th Planet BJJ black belt is bound to be furious with Dana White for not giving him a chance to beat ‘The Eagle.’ But McGregor is relaxed about his many options. It’s all about picking the right one.
“You know, it’s got very personal with that man and his team,” McGregor said of Nurmagomedov. “Look, it is what it is. I make no promises. I am who I am and it is what it is. I’ll certainly be focused on the skillsets. We have a particular skillset, myself and that man. He holds onto the legs and I come for it. I’ll be excited to get that one back. So we’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens in the Tony fight. Tony’s another interesting foe for me. We’ll see what happens. If something happens, I’ll be here.”