Conor McGregor already is plotting his next move, according to UFC president Dana White, and it’s apparently something straight out of “Rocky IV.”
Although there has been plenty of talk about McGregor’s future after his Aug. 26 boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr., White revealed Wednesday in an interview with MMAJunkie.com that The Notorious is hoping to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov in Russia upon returning to UFC.
“You know what Conor told me? He said, ‘I want Khabib in Russia,’ ” White told MMAjunkie.com. “Isn’t he (expletive) awesome? He’s like, ‘I want Khabib, in Russia.’ He’s awesome. Conor McGregor is a (expletive) unicorn. There’s nothing like him. He’s working on boxing Floyd Mayweather and then he’s talking about fighting Khabib in Russia right after.”
Nurmagomedov, a native of Russia, is UFC’s No. 2 ranked lightweight behind McGregor and owns a 24-0 record. He’s expected to fight Tony Ferguson at some point, although they’ve already had three head-to-head matchups canceled, including a bout scheduled for UFC 209 in March that Nurmagomedov pulled out of after being hospitalized for a bad weight cut.
Assuming Nurmagomedov and Ferguson eventually fight, which White acknowledged needs to happen, it makes sense that McGregor’s return to the octagon would involve him defending his lightweight title against whichever fighter wins the interim title. Ferguson, the No. 3 ranked lightweight, is no slouch, so his fight against Nurmagomedov certainly could go either way, but the idea of McGregor going into a hostile environment to face an undefeated fighter sure is intriguing, especially since there’s never been a UFC event held in Nurmagomedov’s native country.
“Those are the kind of things that make that kid a (expletive) superstar,” White said of McGregor, per MMAJunkie.com. “I’ve got guys telling me, ‘I don’t want to (expletive) — I don’t want to fight this guy, and I don’t want to do this.’ (Conor says), ‘I want Floyd Mayweather then I want (expletive) Khabib in Russia.’ How do you not love him? How do you not love Conor McGregor? Amazing.”
Amazing, indeed, although we suggest McGregor focus on Mayweather for the time being.
Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports Images