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Dana White: Conor McGregor ‘probably’ fights Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson winner next

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Conor McGregor
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Conor McGregor wants to stay busy this year but he might have to start playing the waiting game if UFC president Dana White gets his wish.

It took the former two-division champion just 40 seconds to wipe out Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in his first fight back in 15 months at UFC 246 and McGregor sounded anxious to book his next appearance in the aftermath of that main event.

There was a lot of hype surrounding a potential matchup with “BMF” champion Jorge Masvidal but he’s now expected to face Kamaru Usman in July instead. Lightweights Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier also volunteered to face McGregor next but it appears the Irish superstar will move back into title contention instead.

“Probably the winner of Khabib [Nurmagomedov] and Tony [Ferguson],” White answered when asked who was next for McGregor on The Jim Rome Show.

While drawing a lightweight title shot always seemed like a possibility, McGregor intimated that he wanted to fight at least three times in 2020 and it’s unlikely that will happen with Nurmagomedov and Ferguson not scheduled to meet until UFC 249 on April 18.

The scenario gets even more difficult if Nurmagomedov successful defends his title because he celebrates Ramadan and typically doesn’t take summer time fights. That means his return would likely be delayed until at least September.

Of course, Nurmagomedov first has to get through Ferguson but even White admits the odds are in his favor heading into that highly anticipated showdown.

“Amazing fight. I don’t know [who wins] but you’ve got to give the edge to Khabib,” White said. “Never lost, undefeated, savage, got to give him the edge.”

As far as McGregor goes, White is definitely happy to have him back but more importantly he sees the motivation building inside the Irish superstar.

There were a lot of questions about McGregor’s future after he earned a nine-figure payday for a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather in 2017 then taking home another massive check for his first fight against Nurmagomedov in 2018 before largely staying off the fight radar for the next year.

Now McGregor is back and White believes he’s better than ever.

“He looked unbelievable in this fight,” White said. “And for people that are saying Cowboy is shot, Cowboy is this—Cowboy is one of the best and one of the baddest to ever do it and he showed up to win that night and Conor McGregor ran through him like a freight train.

“McGregor looks better than he’s ever looked. His head’s in the right place. Mentally, physically and emotionally, he is ready to roll and I can’t wait until his next fight.”