Since suffering a massive defeat at UFC 229, former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor has been campaigning for a rematch against undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. However, the UFC is yet to make a decision regarding a potential McGregor-Nurmagomedov rematch or Khabib's next title defense as both fighters are still serving suspensions for engaging in a post-fight brawl at UFC 229.
However, it seems like the second faceoff between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov has the full support of UFC President Dana White. In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, White said that if everything goes as he expected, the McGregor-Nurmagomedov rematch will go down in 2019.
"As long as everything goes right, this fight should happen."It's easy to understand why the UFC is very interested in scheduling a rematch between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov despite the things that happened after UFC 229. McGregor and Nurmagomedov have the ability to generate lots of money, and a victory for "The Notorious" will result in a trilogy.
UFC President Dana White's statements may have confirmed the recent revelations of Khabib Nurmagomedov's father, Abdulmanap. In a recent interview with Yaroslav Stepanov of Sports 24 (transcribed by TalkSport) the older Nurmagomedov revealed that the UFC made a huge offer for them to take the rematch with McGregor. However, Nurmagomedov's camp said that they declined the request and urged the UFC to double their offer.
"They offered $15 million (£11.8 million) to rematch with Conor," Abdulmanap said. "But we want $30 million, guys. $30 million!"Accepting the rematch with Conor McGregor is a no-brainer for Khabib Nurmagomedov and his camp if they are aiming for a huge payday. However, Nurmagomedov has already proven that he is a much better fighter than McGregor, and as of now, he is more focused on building a good legacy than fattening his bank account. Also, there are other fighters in the UFC who deserve to be Nurmagomedov's next opponent than McGregor like UFC lightweight contenders Tony Ferguson and Dustin Poirier.
Still, it is the UFC who has the final say who will be next in line for the UFC lightweight championship. If things don't go according to his plan, UFC President Dana White also expressed interest in scheduling a champion versus champion fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway at 155 lbs. Holloway doesn't seem to have any problem moving up to a higher division as it could give him the opportunity to become one of the MMA fighters who hold two belts simultaneously.