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UFC chief Dana White eager to book Khabib in grudge match with Conor McGregor if ‘focused’ Mac ‘sticks around’

UFC president Dana White admits he’d love to book a rematch between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor this year.

Nurmagomedov and McGregor, both 32, locked horns with one another in October 2018 in a bitter grudge match at UFC 229.

AP
UFC president Dana White is eager to book a rematch between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor[/caption]
Sportsfile
Conor McGregor suffered a submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229[/caption]

McGregor came up short in his bid to reclaim the lightweight title and hand the recently-retired Russian his first professional loss, suffering a fourth-round submission defeat.

White believes a rematch between the pair would be the biggest fight in the history of the sport and is desperate to make it.

He told ESPN: “As a promoter, you always want to see the best guys in the world, but at the same time, when a guy wants to retire, he probably should.

“The difference with a guy like Khabib is he’s been through so much, and losing his dad was a major blow to him. Yet, his dad wanted him to hit 30-0.

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“No matter what you think of Conor personally, Conor McGregor is not only one of the best in the world, but one of the best to ever do it.”

McGregor will make his long-awaited return to the octagon a week on Saturday in the main event of UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi, where he’ll rematch Dustin Poirier.

White likes what he’s seen of McGregor’s preparations for his return and believes his rediscovered commitment to the sport makes a rematch with Nurmagomedov an intriguing prospect.

He added: “Right now, he’s as focused as he’s ever been.

“I don’t know if this is going to be the same Conor after the Poirier fight, but if this Conor sticks around for the next year, how do you not do Khabib vs. Conor again?”

McGregor is brimming with confidence ahead of his second meeting with Poirier, which will close out the UFC‘s third run on Fight Island.

The Notorious is planning to make light work of his old featherweight rival, saying: “I will knock Dustin out inside 60 seconds.”

Ireland’s first UFC champion added: “I love Dustin, I think he’s a good fighter. He’s even a great fighter, you know? But great is still levels below me.”

Nurmagomedov, 32, is set to have talks with White about his future and that of the lightweight title in the coming days.

The Russian has yet to be relieved of the belt following his retirement last October but expects the winner of Poirier vs McGregor II to vie for it.

He told MatchTV: “My belt will [eventually] be taken by the winner of Dustin and Conor.”





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