Conor McGregor is eyeing a UFC return with the outcome of the UFC 242 main event in Abu Dhabi critical to the route he takes.
Current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov takes on Dustin Poirier in the September 7 showpiece with McGregor ready to put his name back in the frame.
In today’s post-UFC 240 press conference, UFC president Dana White confirmed he had been in touch with the Notorious one, and seeing him in the cage in the not too distant future is a real prospect.
“Yeah, I talked to him last week. He wants to come back,” said White.
“Really what he’s doing is he’s looking to see how everything plays out in September. I was just saying out there that as of right now, Khabib and [Dustin] Poirier are fighting. You know how this business works – anything can happen and it usually does.
“So I think he’s just waiting to see how it all plays out, and does he have an opportunity somewhere to jump in and make something happen.”
A win for Nurmagomedov would put McGregor out of the title picture in the short term as Tony Ferguson is next in line for a shot at the Russian.
Should Poirier take the gold, then the Irishman could force his way into a shot against the American – but again Ferguson would have plenty to say about that.
Failing those options, a rubber match against Nate Diaz could also be on the cards. The two have one win apiece and following their high profile, high octane bouts in the past there would be an appetite for a decider. Diaz takes on Anthony Pettis next month at 155lbs so would likely be able to fight again before the end of the year.
Another option would be a move to 170lbs, or a catchweight, to fight either Donald Cerrone or Jorge Masvidal.
A bout with Cerrone has been touted in the past but at 155, while Masvidal is a hot property now following his record breaking KO of Ben Askren and would jump at the chance to take on McGregor – pending a title shot at 170lbs.
Cerrone would be the more attractive of these options, but ideally back down at 155.
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