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UFC president Dana White has some ideas in mind for what comes next for both Conor McGregor and lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov but he’s hesitant to make anything official until after December.
Both Nurmagomedov and McGregor are scheduled to go before the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Dec. 10 to answer for their roles in the brawl that broke out after their fight ended at UFC 229 back in October.
White has said numerous times that he won’t play matchmaker for either fighter until that is settled but he definitely has some thoughts on who McGregor and Nurmagomedov should face next.
“The fight that makes sense right now [for Conor McGregor] is probably [Dustin] Poirier and then Tony [Ferguson] gets a shot at the title and the two winners fight each other but I’m not sure exactly on a date when Conor’s going to fight,” White told the FS1 post fight show. “We have to get through this Nevada State Athletic Commission stuff first.”
White then walked back those comments somewhat when speaking to the media after his interview with FS1 by saying nothing has been determined yet because of the pending commission hearing.
“I could see Poirier-Conor. Tony deserves a shot at the title,” White said. “Who knows what’s going to happen to Khabib or Conor. If Khabib gets some huge suspension, these guys got to fight. Who knows.
The one thing that doesn’t appear to be in the works no matter what is an immediate rematch between Nurmagomedov and McGregor.
White sounded rather adamant about Tony Ferguson getting the next crack at the lightweight title but even that isn’t set in stone because there’s no telling how long Nurmagomedov could be sidelined after he initiated the post fight melee in October.
“Who knows what these guys are going to get for suspensions,” White said. “If it was just a fine, that would be one thing. They’re definitely getting suspended. I can’t see a scenario where they don’t get suspended. I can’t do anything.”
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As far as how long White expects Nurmagomedov to be suspended, he wasn’t willing to wager a guess but he did say that the absolute worse cast scenario would probably be the undefeated Russian being forced to sit out for the next year of his career.
“I can’t see them giving Khabib over a year,” White said. “I hope so. If it’s over a year, come on, that would not be fair. The whole thing was over in 40 seconds. Nobody got touched, nobody got hurt, nothing happened.
“I think that the commission has to send a message and I hope it’s not over a year. I don’t think that would be fair.”