UFC heads to Russia: Conor McGregor next opponent will be Khabib Nurmagomedov, says Dana White

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Conor McGregor will be stripped of his featherweight title
Conor McGregor will be stripped of his featherweight title

UFC president Dana White gave hints on Conor McGregor’s next fight which could happen overseas. “The Notorious” is expected to return to the Octagon in mid-2017 for his first title defense.

At UFC 205, Conor McGregor became a two-weight division champion after defeating Eddie Alvarez to get the lightweight belt. Since then, several MMA fighters expressed their intention to fight him, including Jose Aldo, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Tony Ferguson.

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However, “The Notorious” decided to take a “10-month off” to spend time with his family. Recently, UFC president Dana White told FOX 5 in New York that lightweight top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov could challenge McGregor in his first title defense.

“We’re focused very heavily on Russia right now,” White said. “First of all, there’s tons of talent coming out of Russia, and a lot of fans. There’s a fighter named Khabib who’s from Russia, and he’s insanely popular. The next fight could be Conor vs. Khabib.”

Before the McGregor-Alvarez bout, White planned to give Nurmagomedov the chance to fight for the lightweight belt. “The Notorious” was then set to face Jose Aldo to unify the featherweight belt. Unfortunately, everything changed when both champions agreed to face each other at 155 lb.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov came off a third-round submission of Michael Johnson at UFC 205. After the fight, he called McGregor out and challenged him for his first title defense. However, with McGregor taking a “10-month off”, Nurmagomedov pursued another matchup against Tony Ferguson for the UFC lightweight interim belt.

Tony Ferguson responded to Nurmagomedov’s challenge, saying that he will not be accepting fights from “peanuts. After winning nine consecutive bouts, Ferguson believes that the UFC should give him a chance to fight for the title.

“This is the fight game,” Ferguson said. “I’m not worried or scared about absolutely anybody who’s not talking about me. That dude (McGregor) does not want any part of me. Everybody’s talking about him being the best, the best, the best. I’m No. 2. I’m the only name that he hasn’t thrown out there in the wind.”

As of now, McGregor is yet to respond to White’s announcement regarding his next fight. No matter who he fights next, the upcoming bout of “The Notorious” will surely bring tons of money in the UFC.

Photo courtesy: Andrius Petrucenia/Wikimedia Commons

Video courtesy: Youtube/Sports MMA 2

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