UFC president Dana White says a highly-anticipated showdown between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov for the 155-pound title would likely take place in Las Vegas.
White’s suggestion is a reversal from his hint last month that the super-fight, which has been brewing since McGregor attacked a bus carrying Nurmagomedov and his fellow fighters at April’s UFC 223 media day, could headline the UFC’s maiden card in Russia.
“If you do a fight that big, you gotta do it in Vegas, White told the Daily Star recently. “Khabib will fight in Russia at some point, but it wont be that fight. It’s too big. Ya gotta do it in Vegas.”
Nurmagomedov took the title, that was forfeited by McGregor for refusing to defend it in time, by winning a unanimous decision over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. To say that the Russian is anxious to get in the Octagon with McGregor is an understatement.
“I hope he’s gonna fight,” Nurmagomedov said. “We have to fight. Make world tour everywhere, Tokyo, Moscow, Dublin, Los Angeles, Rio. Big world tour, promote this fight, and fight end of the year, biggest arena in the world, Madison Square Garden. Or maybe in Zaire or Philippines. Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter, I’m here. He want to become lightweight champion? He have to fight with me. Now, no more this all fake champions. You guys remember when he put tweet, ‘Beg me.’ Please, beg me.”
White has also said that McGregor, who hasn’t fought a UFC bout in nearly 18 months, will not be punished for the bus incident.