Khabib vs McGregor II? Dana White hints that Conor McGregor is next in line for title shot after Justin Gaethje (VIDEO)
The UFC moved one step closer to a titanic rematch between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor, with UFC president Dana White offering the Irish star a clear path back to another title shot and a potential rematch with Khabib.
Speaking to boxing promoter Eddie Hearn and former world champion boxer Tony Bellew on the "Talk the Talk" podcast, White laid out the scenario that would see McGregor walk straight into another title fight in his very next appearance.
"I think that the best thing for him – I'm not saying this is what's going to happen – but in my opinion he lets this Gaethje-Khabib fight play out, then he fights the winner," suggested White.
"I think that's the smartest move for him."
McGregor has fought just twice at 155 pounds in the UFC. He knocked out Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden at UFC 205 in 2016 to capture the lightweight title and become the UFC's first-ever "champ champ," before switching his attention to boxing, and a megabucks fight with Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
He was later stripped of both his featherweight and lightweight titles for failing to defend either of them, and eventually made his return to the octagon against UFC lightweight champ Khabib in an ill-tempered matchup at UFC 229 that ended in a huge melee, inside and outside the cage, after Khabib submitted the Irishman in the fourth round.Also on rt.com Getting their GOAT: McGregor triggers Khabib, Diaz into Twitter barbs after Irishman's 'all-time greats of MMA' list
McGregor bounced back from that loss in January when he finished Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in just 40 seconds in a welterweight bout at UFC 246, but his path back to the lightweight title seemed to be blocked by the host of active contenders for Khabib's title.
However, following Justin Gaethje's interim title victory over Tony Ferguson at UFC 249, White's comments appeared to install McGregor as the No. 2 contender, behind Gaethje, for Khabib's title.
But despite his suggestion that McGregor sit tight and wait, White also admitted the mercurial Irishman may still want to get back into the cage earlier, and said the UFC would look to put on an appropriate fight in that situation.
"You know him. Maybe he wants to fight before that and if he does, we can figure something out," he said.
"But I think that's the move for him right now."Also on rt.com Conor McGregor shouldn't be chasing self-indulgent sideshows like an Anderson Silva 'GOAT' fight - his business is with Khabib