Though UFC 240 is set to go down this weekend featuring a featherweight title fight, eyes are already looking ahead to UFC 242 and the title unification bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier. And with that fight on the horizon, the future of the lightweight division is bright, so says Dana White.

Speaking with Rich Eisen on Thursday, the UFC president addressed what is next at lightweight for the recently crowned most successful Russian athlete, assuming Nurmagomedov can get through Poirier.

“It’s a very interesting division because you have Khabib, you have Tony Ferguson, Conor McGregor, Donald Cerrone’s in the mix, Justin Gaethje – there’s just so many unbelievable fights in that weight class and Khabib keeps talking about fighting Georges St. Pierre again,” White said. “St-Pierre retired but when St-Pierre retired, he retired basically saying I won’t if I can fight Khabib. So there’s so many different, crazy, interesting things that we can do at that weight class.”

Lightweight has long been considered the premiere division in MMA for depth of talent but right now may be the best the division has ever been. Nurmagomedov hasn’t lost in over a decade. Poirier is the interim lightweight champion after stopping Max Holloway’s 13-fight winning streak. Hell, Tony Ferguson is on a 12-fight winning streak and not even fighting for the title. Now, if Khabib beats Poirier, he has said he would like to fight Ferguson next, however, Dana White suggests there’s another fight the UFC may be interested in making instead: a rematch with Conor McGregor.

“It would be a massive fight and it’s absolutely possible, yes,” White said. “I think McGregor is gonna come back at the beginning of next year. So, realistically, all these guys are looking at September to see what happens with Khabib and Poirier. After that fight plays out, I think there’s gonna be a lot of movement going on.”

Nurmagomedov and McGregor fought in October of last year, blowing the previous UFC pay-per-view record out of the water. The fight itself was almost as dominant as the PPV numbers, with Nurmagomedov smashing McGregor before submitting him in the fourth round. But after the fight, Nurmagomedov jumped over the fence causing a now infamous brawl that resulted in his fine and put the lightweight division on hold while he waited out his suspension. The brawl also piqued interest in a rematch between the two. McGregor, meanwhile, has completed his suspension but has yet to settle on a return date, having previously retired and then unretired after reigniting his beef with Khabib. There were rumors of a fight with Donald Cerrone but now White says McGregor is waiting until September to see what comes of Khabib’s title defense.

“To Conor’s credit and defense, you don’t see Conor running around filming movies,” White said. “If you look at his – he’s in great shape, he’s staying in shape, he’s training, and he’s seeing how this thing plays out.”

If McGregor truly is sitting out and waiting, then he likely has a decent chance at jumping the line to get another title shot. Considering McGregor and Khabib are now the two biggest stars in the UFC, a rematch is likely the most lucrative fight the UFC can make at this point, and though he was talking about a Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao rematch, White made a point that rings eerily close to home with regard to a Conor-Khabib rematch.

“Any time there’s too much money involved, Rich, bet on it happening.”


Results. Chris Wade, Lance Palmer win as playoff positions are set at PFL 5.

Top dog. Khabib Nurmagomedov ranked No. 1 by Forbes for most successful Russian athletes.

Scoff. Frankie Edgar scoffs at Henry Cejudo’s call out: ‘That dude says a lot of sh*t, most of it’s garbage’.

Out. Giacomo Lemos fails drug test, out of UFC 240 fight with Tanner Boser.

Missed Fists. The best highlights from the previous week in MMA.


UFC 240 media staredowns.

Embedded.

Looking at Frankie Edgar’s career.

Khabib interview.

Cyborg fight week video.

Forrest wants Jon-DC 3 at heavyweight.


UFC Unfiltered. Interviews with Felicia Spencer, Niko Price, and Jamie English.

Submission Radio. UFC 240 preview show + Jon Jones’ charges, and UFC 243 discussion.


Khabib.

Jon back on his good guy kick.

Jose for most of it. He also defended.

Megan on the card.

Durinho to 170.

So, how would it be?


Chris Gonzalez (2-0) vs. Luis Vargas (2-3); Bellator 226, Sept. 7.


Thanks for reading, enjoy the fights, and see y’all on Monday.


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