White Says McGregor vs Ferguson ‘Has To Happen’
Since Conor McGregor’s boxing match with Floyd Mayweather on August 26th, everyone has wondered the same thing, “What will McGregor fight next?”
The names are plentiful, Nate Diaz, Tony Ferguson, Kevin Lee, George St. Pierre, Khabib Nurmagomedov or even Mayweather in a rematch. Diaz made the most sense out all of those since they have fought twice before, with each fighter winning one apiece. A rubber match between the two would make not only sense, but the most money for the two fighters and the organization.
But after UFC 216 on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, UFC President Dana White shot down the idea of a third fight between Diaz (19-11) and McGregor (21-3), stating that newly crowned interim champion Ferguson (24-3) would be fighting the Irish champ next.
“Nobody’s talked about Diaz – Diaz has never been talked about,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “That’s internet bull(expletive). Tony’s the interim champion, Conor’s the champion. It’s the fight that makes sense.”
“It’s the fight that has to happen – it doesn’t ‘make sense,’ it’s the fight that has to happen.”
About a week ago, there was a rumor that UFC 219 on December 30th in Las Vegas would be the place and date for McGregor vs Diaz 3, but White said that wasn’t true. But White didn’t say Diaz wasn’t a possible option for him to fight either.
Two of McGregor’s coaches had also said they thought a rubber match with Diaz made sense for the lightweight champion.
As for McGregor himself, he hasn’t said much about who specifically who is going to fight. A couple week ago, he listed a few different names, but also said he wanted to wait until after UFC 216 before making his decision. White said that he and McGregor have spoke about when the fighter wants to fight next and perhaps who he’d fight.
“We didn’t specifically talk about it, but we talked about it kinda,” White said slyly. “He wants to fight again this year. He went and partied in Ibiza for a while and went back home for a while. You’ve got to let him blow off some steam and then we’ll figure it out.”
Ferguson submitted Lee in the third round to win the interim championship and called out McGregor when speaking with UFC commentator Joe Rogan in the octagon afterwards. Ferguson called McGregor “McNuggets” and told him to “defend or vacate”.
No word from McGregor since Ferguson’s callout and White’s comments. Stay tuned…