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Morning Report: Dana White expects Conor McGregor’s next fight to be in the UFC against the interim lightweight champion

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Dana White
Dana White discusses Jon Jones' removal from UFC 200
Esther Lin/MMAFighting.com

While the world seems to be slowly convincing itself that the oft-rumored superfight between UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and undefeated boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr. is soon to be a reality, there’s one man who isn’t biting, UFC President Dana White.

As far as can be discerned, there have been no official talks of any kind between the two parties but there has been a tremendous amount of media posturing from both McGregor and Mayweather. The ever-present nature of their trash talk has led to wide spread speculation that the fight is now an inevitability, with mainstream outlets even picking up a report a couple of weeks ago saying that the fight had already been agreed to. Mayweather has since denied the claims as has White, who over the weekend told TMZ that there has been no movement on a Mayweather-McGregor superfight and that he expects McGregor’s next bout to take place inside the octagon.

“We’re nowhere. We’re nowhere with it. We’re nowhere. I expect Conor’s next fight to be in the UFC, in mixed martial arts, and the winner of Khabib [Nurmagomedov] and [Tony] Ferguson.”

This runs directly against McGregor’s claims that “the next time I step into a combat arena will be through the ropes wearing 10-ounce or eight-ounce gloves.” And while White has never come out against the fight taking place, even offering Mayweather and McGregor $25 million apiece to set the fight up (an offer well below the traditional standards of Mayweather but a dramatic increase in McGregor’s usual guarantee), he has been adamant that for the fight to happen he and the UFC must be involved. With there still being no definitive negotiation between the two promotional parties, the UFC and Mayweather, the fight appears no closer than ever. Not that the UFC would be opposed. As White says, the fight would be a massive money maker and one the UFC, and McGregor, would be happy to have.

“The thing’s gonna be millions of dollars. The guy could make anywhere from 30 to 60 million bucks.”

Instead of that cash cow, White appears set on McGregor facing a much lesser lucrative option. Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson are set to face each other this weekend for the UFC interim lightweight title and, presumably, the next shot at McGregor’s actual lightweight title. And though they lack may lack the star power of Mayweather, they will have something that else that White says will make either of them an excellent option: merit.

“Khabib and Ferguson hate each other. Those guys hate each other. That’s fight’s gonna be good. It’s gonna be a good fight. Two nasty guys - number one and number two in the world. Doesn’t get any better than that.”


MUST-READ STORIES

Beggars. Max Holloway says he won’t beg for a Conor McGregor fight like others.

Hopes. Luke Rockhold wants a rematch with “coward” Michael Bisping regardless of title.

No fear. Germaine de Randamie says she is not ducking Cris Cyborg.

Gym wars. T.J. Dillashaw dares Cody Garbrandt to release gym knockout footage.

Soul. Michael Bisping says he “took Luke Rockhold’s soul.”


MEDIA STEW

Free fights.

The big video from the weekend.

Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather on a possible matchup with Conor McGregor. #ShoBox

Опубліковано Showtime Boxing 24 лютого 2017 р.

Floyd Mayweather Sr. on Conor.

A MacLife look into Conor’s high living.

Donald Cerrone on TMZ.

Bigfoot saying Greg Hardy will make it to the UFC.

Valentina Shevchenko on Nunes wanting to fight for a second belt.


TWEETS

Dang man.

Tito.

I hope this isn’t true.

Fun Size.

USADA.

Ouch.

Making matches.

This is awesome.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before.

Diego channeling Puff Daddy.

THE NIGHTMARE IS NO MORE!!!!!! "Diego Lionheart Sanchez" era starts right now 2/26/2017 there is no going back it is finished

A post shared by Diego Sanchez (@diegonightmaresanchezufc) on


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ovince Saint Preux (19-10) vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (15-4-1); UFC Fight Night: Nashville, April 22.

Liam McGeary (12-1) vs. Linton Vassell (17-5, 1 NC); Bellator 179, May 19.

Alexander Gustafsson (17-4) vs. Glover Teixeira (26-5); UFC Fight Night: Stockholm.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2011: B.J. Penn fought Jon Fitch to a majority draw in the main event of UFC 127. It was the last time Penn competed in the octagon and didn’t lose. Also at this event, Mark Hunt scored his first win in the UFC, knocking out Chris Tuchscherer.

2015: Cris Cyborg blew out Charmaine Tweet at Invicta FC 11 to retain her featherweight championship.

Liam McGeary won a unanimous decision over Emanuel Newton to win the Bellator light heavyweight title at Bellator 134.

2016: Michael Bisping won a unanimous decision over Anderson Silva at UFC Fight Night 84, though many maintain that Silva knocked out Bisping at the end of the third round.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Not MMA related but Nate Robinson is a hero for this.

That’s all for today folks. Just a heads up, there will be no MR tomorrow. We’ll be back to your regularly scheduled programming on Wednesday. Until then, keep it breezy.


If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.