Amidst the circus that was always going to following the official announcement of Conor McGregor's professional boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather, one of the primary concerns of the Irishman's fanbase was that after taking such a gargantuan pay-day, he would never feel the need to return to the UFC.
While his striking coach Owen Roddy laughed off those claims on an appearance on The MMA Hour recently, claiming that McGregor is motivated not by money, but by challenging himself, many were still wondering if, win or lose, Conor was really finished in MMA.
But it very much seems like that is not the case, as Dana White spoke to MMAJunkie.com where he explained that Conor already has a plan for his return to the UFC, and it's absolutely massive.
You know what Conor told me? He said, ‘I want Khabib in Russia,'
Isn’t he fuckin' awesome? He’s like, ‘I want Khabib, in Russia.’ He’s awesome. Conor McGregor is a fuckin' unicorn. There’s nothing like him. He’s working on boxing Floyd Mayweather and then he’s talking about fighting Khabib in Russia right after.
Those are the kinds of things that make that kid a fuckin' superstar. I’ve got guys telling me, 'I don’t want to fight this guy, and I don’t want to do this.’ Conor says, ‘I want Floyd Mayweather then I want fuckin' Khabib in Russia.’ How do you not love him? How do you not love Conor McGregor? Amazing.
It's easy to see why Dana would be so excited, as a UFC PPV from Russia with McGregor going into the most hostile territory imaginable to fight Khabib, who despite having his reputation take a hit after 'Tiramisu-gate' with Tony Ferguson has mauled everyone put in front of him in his MMA career thus far, would be huge.
Also highly encouraging is that Conor's plan would see him defend his lightweight title as soon as possible, which would satisfy those who are upset at the division being stalled for the Mayweather fight.
There are other complications that need to be sorted out first, namely getting that previously booked Ferguson vs Nurmagomedov to actually happen as promised, but not only is Conor McGregor motivated to resume his UFC career, he appears to be seeking out the biggest possible challenges for when he does.