- Conor McGregor just beat Donald Cerrone and the UFC boss Dana White is already planning the Irishman’s next bout.
- A rematch between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor is the fight to make, White said at a post-event press conference which Business Insider attended.
- McGregor lost the first fight as Nurmagomedov won via fourth round submission, and a rematch would be great for both of their legacies, White said.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
LAS VEGAS — Conor McGregor should fight Khabib Nurmagomedov next, after he obliterated his UFC 246 opponent Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds.
That is according to the UFC president Dana White, who told reporters at the post-event press conference in the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, that a rematch of their UFC 229 classic in 2018 would be great for both of their legacies.
In that bout 15 months ago, Nurmagomedov dropped McGregor with a thudding overhand right in the second round, then submitted him for good with a neck crank in the fourth.
“This is a massive fight with global appeal,” White said on Saturday.
There had been pre-fight speculation that McGregor could fight the “baddest mother f—–” in the game, Jorge Masvidal, or the former eight-weight world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao at the newly-built, 65,000 seater Raiders stadium in Vegas.
“Do I want Conor to fight three times this year? Sure. Fight Masvidal? Sure. But you gotta do what makes sense,” White said. “Khabib vs. Conor is big for their legacies and the sport.”
White said he was “blown away” by how McGregor performed against Cerrone, in a bout where both combatants weighed-in at the 170-pound welterweight limit.
“He looked unbelievable,” White said. “There’s always critics, someone who has an opinion, [who might say] ‘Cowboy’ was shot … total bulls—. McGregor looked fast, hit hard, had a gameplan and he finished a real tough kid who came to win.”
Nurmagomedov has a fight already booked, a UFC lightweight title defense against Tony Ferguson in April. But should Nurmagomedov defeat Ferguson, White appears likely to green-light the McGregor rematch.
“Conor was saying going into the Khabib fight … he had lots of personal stuff, some self-inflicted, but he’s been obsessed with getting that rematch. He knows he wasn’t 100% right.
“When you look at this with Khabib … this kid’s legacy, [a record of] 28-0 in this sport is tough to do. He’s a world champion.
“It makes sense for the 155-pound title. Masvidal doesn’t have a title. Conor wants the BMF, but [Masvidal] doesn’t have a world championship.
“Khabib is the fight to make.”
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