It was a comprehensive victory over Dustin Poirier on Saturday at UFC 242 and before he had even left the Abu Dhabi arena talked turned to the next fight for Khabib Nurmagomedov.
UFC president Dana White was fairly clear in his post-fight press conference that the long-awaited Tony Ferguson bout is next but he did add a caveat.
"He’s next. Tony Ferguson is next in line for the fight if he accepts the fight. We’ll see how this thing plays out when Khabib will fight again and if Tony wants the fight."
Given how vocal Ferguson has been in relation to the potential fight, it would be surprising if he was not to accept. However, negotiations have not been completed and White did add that the other alternative is a Conor McGregor rematch.
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 Conor would make a lot of sense.
As for the undefeated Russian, he remains open to the one fight White seems unwilling to grant. Former two-division champion Georges St-Pierre repeatedly called for the Khabib fight but earlier this year White shot it down: "You can’t come back out of retirement and hand pick fights that you want when you didn’t even keep your word with me."
When Nurmgomedov was asked, he said he was open to the fight.
if he wants to come back, if he feels hungry, if he feels he can improve his legacy with a fight with me and he can make 155, I’m waiting for him. Maybe he likes the new belt. If he likes, I can give him just only for one photo. If he wants to fight, welcome.
The one obstacle remains the UFC president and therefore, that possibility looks unlikely. Yet, per MMAFighting, when White was asked about that potential match-up he said 'sure.'
Khabib suggested it could make almost $50 million and that they could fight in Africa for charity.
"We can fight somewhere like Congo, why not, and all what money we make, we can use on charity on Africa or somewhere."
Stranger things have happened.