Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will be ignoring the recent tirade from former lightweight champion Conor McGregor and instead move forward with a title unification bout between reigning 155-pound kingpin Khabib Nurmagomedov and newly-crowned interim titleholder Justin Gaethje.
Where and when?
UFC “Fight Island” this summer, promotion president Dana White told ESPN (via Brett Okamoto), allowing “The Eagle” — and other international fighters — to come and go as they please. That’s assuming the world remains on lockdown to help control the spread of coronavirus.
“I expect [Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje] to happen this summer,” White said. “I don’t know if it will be the first one but it will be on ‘Fight Island’ unless miraculously the world comes back together faster than I think it’s gonna.”
Nurmagomedov was originally expected to defend his title against top contender Tony Ferguson; however, Gaethje played spoiler in the UFC 249 pay-per-view (PPV) main event last weekend in Jacksonville. “The Highlight” should be ready after escaping “The Sunshine State” without a medical suspension.
Super excited for the LW Title bout in July!— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 12, 2020
No question the promotion is trying to hold off on booking McGregor until coronavirus restrictions are lifted, so that “Notorious” can make good on his $18 million gate. But whether or not he would be willing to wait for the winner of Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje remains to be seen.
Either way, this “Fight Island” offer still stands...