UFC president Dana White has not ruled out a rematch between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov despite their fight at the weekend ending in ugly scenes.
Nurmagomedov beat McGregor inside four rounds in Las Vegas before he leapt into the crowd and fought with one of his opponent’s trainers. Meanwhile, men thought to be members of the Russian’s team entered the octagon and attacked McGregor. Nurmagomedov apologised for his actions but said he had been provoked during the build-up to the fight, when McGregor had mocked his religion, father and country.
Despite his loss, McGregor tweeted after the fight that he would like to meet Nurmagomedov again. “Good knock,” he wrote. “Looking forward to the rematch.” Such a fight would be likely to generate huge revenues, despite the distaste generated by Saturday’s events, and White said he had already heard from McGregor.
“[Nurmagomedov] has to go before the Nevada commission [after his purse from the fight was withheld due to the brawl], and we have to see what’s going to happen with Khabib and this whole mess,” White told ESPN on Monday. “But Conor McGregor has already called me, wanting a rematch.
"That's what Conor has asked for. We'll see what happens with Khabib and what's next.[Former interim lightweight champion] Tony Ferguson looked amazing. Those two have been lined up three different times to fight and it hasn't happened. We'll see how things play out."
Many believe that McGregor had crossed the line from trash talking to bigotry before the fight with Nurmagomedov. However, White said neither fighter was blameless, and described McGregor as a “superstar”.
“We knew some things could happen after this fight, so we had everything in place to make sure that didn’t happen,” White said. “I didn’t see Khabib jumping over the cage like that. He got over that thing quick and was going after one of Conor’s cornermen.
“There’s no doubt he’s justified for being upset, but first of all, you, you just won the fight against the biggest superstar in all of sports, let alone our sport. You just beat him while the whole world was watching . . . The only one getting hurt in this thing now is Khabib. Now he has to go before the Nevada commission.” - Guardian