Nurmagomedov is set to defend the UFC lightweight title against Tony Ferguson in Brooklyn at UFC 249. However, McGregor will be the back-up in case either fighter is unable to fight due to injury or botched weight cut, according to UFC president Dana White.
Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson is a fight with a troubled and – according to some fans – cursed history, with it having fallen through on four separate occasions.
McGregor himself has a fight scheduled for UFC 246 in January against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. However, the bout will be at 170lbs, a “155-pound fight that they’re not cutting weight for,” according to Dana White.
This is all, of course, assuming McGregor gets past Cowboy, which has been treated as all but a foregone conclusion. If the rematch with Khabib is not in the books, it is assumed that there will be serious attempts to book a money fight between McGregor and Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal, who is at the peak of his popularity and marketability.
There is a lot of skepticism about McGregor and where he stands in this lightweight division, but it is certainly clear that he has been itching for a rematch against the dominant Nurmagomedov.