DANA WHITE EXPLORES WHAT’S NEXT FOR KHABIB
Facing Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 was the primary obstacle between getting Khabib Nurmagomedov to fight Tony Ferguson. Khabib beating Poirier has now allowed Dana White to re-visit the fight he previously said he would never make again. Dana answered a host of questions at the UFC 242 post-fight press conference, including what’s next for Khabib.
Dana spoke for an entire three minutes answering questions about the attendance, gate, and weather conditions. However, as soon as a reporter asked what was next for Khabib, White initially changed the subject and said,
“Hold on one second, do we still need the music on? Why do we still have music on?” You guys know when I come to these things I’m deaf as it is. We got air conditioning and DJs and I can’t hear s**t.”
The statement was eerie as Dana could hear each previous question just fine. It felt like a microcosm of booking the fight between Khabib and Ferguson. No matter how bad everyone wants it or asks about it, the subject seems to always change. Nonetheless, the reporter asked the question for White a little clearer in less noisy conditions.
“Yeah he’s next,” said Dana. “Tony Ferguson is next in line for the fight… if he accepts the fight. You know… we’ll see how this thing plays out.” White added that things could depend on when Khabib will fight again and when Tony wants to fight.
UFC is Hesitant to Book Khabib vs Tony
For some reason, fans can never get a clearcut answer on booking this fight. Granted it has been booked but never came to fruition a record four times. Whether its been freak accidents or bad weight cuts, both fighters equally share the blame for the results.
While the UFC is probably hesitant to book the fight, it seems like the universe is finally aligning to give the fans and the promotion exactly what it needs. The lightweight division can not fully prosper without Khabib Nurmagomedov fighting Tony Ferguson.
When Khabib was asked what was next for him after the fight, he told UFC’s Megan Olivi that all he wanted at the moment was a coca-cola and some steak. Although previously Khabib stated that Tony was next in line and he deserves the title fight. He also declared that he would like to fight Georges St Pierre in his return match (if he returned) in a charity bout stationed in Africa.
The Presence of Conor McGregor
No one involved is giving straight answers and it leads fans to believe that the UFC has an ace up their sleeve. That ace is probably Conor McGregor. Dana was also asked on the possibility of a McGregor rematch for Khabib.
“Did you just ask me if I’m going to rematch Conor? Was that the question,” said White. “Okay (umm) Tony Ferguson gets the next shot. And obviously if for whatever reason Tony can’t take the fight or doesn’t want the fight at that time, then we would figure out what was next. But yeah, Conor would make a lot of sense. Conor McGregor wants that fight really badly and I’m sure the fans would want to see it. We’ll see how this whole thing plays out.”
Once again, hardcore fans are left in the dark when it comes to the only fight that they want to see. The UFC is taking their time on booking the fight and using Tony as a scapegoat while McGregor’s aura is felt in the background. Seeing how things play out is a natural response for Dana, but the only option that makes sense is Khabib vs Tony.