Conor McGregor is back in the fight business following yesterday’s (Fri., Aug. 3, 2018) news that “Notorious” will challenge lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas.
This is a fight that the promotion was hoping to make as soon as McGregor cleared up his legal issues stemming from a bus attack in Brooklyn this past April. The former UFC champion was facing felony charges and potential jail time, but ultimately dodged a bullet and left New York a free man.
Once McGregor was cleared to return to action UFC wasted no time scheduling the Irishman’s return bout opposite Nurmagomedov.
“I’ve been telling you guys for ever that we had to wait until Conor’s stuff was handled in New York,” UFC president Dana White told TMZ Sports. “It got done. Obviously it was very favorable for Conor.”
“Conor wanted this fight,” White continued. “As soon as his thing was over in New York he wanted the fight and said ‘let’s do this, let’s make this as soon as possible, I want to fight this guy.’”
The bad blood between McGregor and Khabib is real, which is why “Notorious” threw a dolly through a bus window back at UFC 223 to get to the undefeated Russian fighter. It’s the obvious fight to make, but one that comes with a little bit of controversy considering McGregor is facing no extra disciplinary action by the promotion before stepping back inside of the Octagon for a title fight.
White was quick to defend the situation and had an answer for those who think McGregor should have been suspended or heavily fined by UFC for his actions in Brooklyn.
“Suspended? He hasn’t fought in two years. How much longer should we suspend him?” asked White. “He has obviously lost lots of money — millions of dollars — for what went down in New York. What more could we do to him?
“He went through the legal process and got what he got. That’s it.”
It’s nice to be the UFC’s pay-per-view king, isn’t it?
While almost any other fighter on the UFC roster would have been suspended or held upside down for pocket money, McGregor is getting yet another free pass. In UFC’s defense, there’s really nothing the promotion could have done differently.
With PPV numbers spiraling downward and Khabib needing a massive title fight to push him into combat superstardom, all parties involved needed McGregor to return to action as quickly as possible. So that’s why UFC let the New York state legal system handle all of McGregor’s sanctions for his insanity in Brooklyn.
For those who believe McGregor shouldn’t be fighting this October without going through some sort of company punishment, at least you have Khabib standing in the way and capable of teaching “Notorious” 100 lessons.