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Morning Report: Dana White explains why Conor McGregor will jump Justin Gaethje for a title fight if he beats Donald Cerrone

Dana White
Dana White

Earlier this week, Dana White caused a stir when he revealed that the UFC was targeting a rematch between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor, should both men win their upcoming fights against Tony Ferguson and Donald Cerrone respectively. The declaration ruffled a lot of feathers, most notable with top contender Justin Gaethje who took umbrage with the idea that McGregor could jump the line at 155 pounds despite facing “Cowboy” at 170 pounds. Well, now Dana White has told us why.

Speaking with Brett Okamoto of ESPN, White said that the reason McGregor will get the next title shot if he beats Cerrone is because of the rivalry between Conor and Khabib and because Gaethje is trying to sit and wait for a title shot.

“Come on guys, Conor, look what Conor has done over the last however many years, right?,” White said. “Then he loses to Khabib, in a fight that was you know, when you talk about bad blood, that was like next level of bad blood. Gaethje was on his way up too. We’ve offered Gaethje a lot of fights that Gaethje hasn’t taken either. So, Conor is in line next for this fight if he beats ‘Cowboy’.”

Ultimately, it’s not all that surprising that McGregor could be back in title contention with a win. He’s the biggest star in the sport and his first fight with Khabib shattered the UFC’s PPV record. And even though the fight was not particularly competitive, the post-fight hubbub between Nurmagomedov’s team and McGregor’s team is a promotional gold mine. But that still doesn’t explain why the fight with Cerrone is at 170 pounds if McGregor and the UFC are both planning for Conor to fight for the lightweight title next. However, Dana White illuminated Conor’s reasoning for that as well.

“Because Conor wants to fight three times this year and he’s hoping that if he beats Cowboy, he can turn right around and fight Khabib,” White said. “That timing and math isn’t going to work out but you know Conor, Conor thinks the way Conor thinks. So his thing is, I’ll fight Cowboy, I’ll beat Cowboy, I’ll be ready to fight Khabib at 155 if anything happens, because we’re going into Khabib-Tony again. So in Conor’s mind, Conor would be ready for that fight.”

That plan could work out well for Conor. McGregor faces Cerrone on Jan. 18th and Nurmagomedov and Ferguson are scheduled to fight on April 18th. Considering Khabib vs. Tony is the most snakebitten fight in MMA history, it’s entirely possible something happens in the three months between and a replacement will be necessary. But, according to Dana White, everyone is forgetting one very important thing: Conor still has to win his fight with Cowboy.

“The level of disrespect shown to Cowboy through this whole thing, apparently people forgot,” White said. “Cowboy’s lost two in a row before and come back and gone on unbelievable runs.”


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It’s arguably the best fight weekend of the year folks. UFC 245 is amazing and I’m excited about it. Hope you are too.

Thanks for reading, enjoy the fights, and see y’all on Monday!



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