One of the few downsides of prize fighting is that matchmaking at the highest level is often predicated on how much money a bout will generate for the promotion, as well as each combatant, which is why so many big fights fall apart at the negotiating table.
Imagine the Philadelphia Eagles went undefeated in the regular season, but failed to make the playoffs because the Dallas Cowboys were a bigger ratings draw. You can’t, because it’s dumb and would never happen in real sports.
No. 2-ranked lightweight contender, Tony Ferguson, does not compete in real sports.
That’s why his ridiculous 12-fight win streak, one that includes nines finishes, will remain in limbo for Conor McGregor, the sport’s biggest draw, despite a 2-2 record over the last four years with a “Notorious” submission loss at UFC 229.
“Khabib is fighting Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi in September,” White told LVSportsBiz Guerrilla Cross Radio (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “Then I don’t know, we’ll see. Tony Ferguson just came off a great win this weekend over ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, and I’m assuming he’s next.”
White previously stated that no decision would be made until the conclusion of UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, where Khabib Nurmagomedov defends his lightweight title against Dustin Poirier, because it gives UFC and the recently-injured McGregor ample time to negotiate his return.
“We’ll see what happens with Conor – what Conor wants to do,” White said. “Conor is super rich. It’s hard to get guys to fight when they’re super rich.”
McGregor would be better suited to rematch the loser of Khabib-Poirier and not the winner, but that might be a tough sell for a fighter who is sitting on a billion-dollar whiskey business and doesn’t need to compete unless he gets the opponent he wants.
Who said the superstar era was dead?!?