Dana White has squashed any speculation that the highly anticipated fight between UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor might take place in Russia. With the UFC expected to hold their first event in Russia later this year, many had suggested that the event would be headlined by the UFC’s biggest Russian star defending his belt against the Irish former champion.
Speaking to TMZ Sports yesterday, White made it clear that he only has one destination in mind for a fight of this magnitude.
“If you do a fight that big, you gotta do it in Vegas,” White said.
“Khabib will fight in Russia at some point, but it wont be that fight. It’s too big. Ya gotta do it in Vegas.”
Before any plans can be put into place, McGregor must resolve his outstanding legal issues in New York. After being released on bail last month, the Irishman is due to appear in court on June 14 to answer to charges of assault and criminal mischief. No matter the outcome of the legal proceedings, there will then potentially be some form of punishment meted out by the UFC.
White confirmed to TMZ that any potential internal disciplinary proceedings aren’t being considered until McGregor’s legal issues are resolved.
“He’s gotta be punished by the law first,” White said.
“Let’s see what happens in New York.”
It is testament to the Irishman’s popularity and drawing power that people are still talking about him fighting again in the UFC following the events which took place in Brooklyn leading up to UFC 223.
Providing McGregor and his legal team are able to avoid the courts making an example of the 29-year-old star, it feels inevitable that we will see him face Nurmagomedov in the octagon before the end of the year. The fight has all the makings of becoming the biggest grudge match in recent memory and has the potential to produce one of the largest PPV numbers in company history.