Conor McGregor‘s hopes of filling in for Tony Ferguson and facing Khbaib Nurmagomedov have been dashed by the Russian’s manager Ali Abdelaziz. Nurmagomedov is set to defend his lightweight title against ‘El Cucuy’ at UFC 249 in Brooklyn on April 18.
The Dagestani destroyer has been scheduled to face Ferguson a staggering four times but has yet to share the Octagon with the Ultimate Fighter season 13 winner.
The unfortunate cancellations of the bout – which several in the MMA world believe is cursed – has led many to believe the fight will through again.
McGregor, who will return to the Octagon early on Sunday morning in the main event of UFC 246, is also of that belief.
So strong is his belief the fight will collapse again he’s planning to stay in shape just in case either Ferguson or Nurmagomedov withdraw from the contest.
“He said he’s not fighting Conor and he has to take a fight – believe me, he’s going to stick to his word.
“I don’t think anybody can change what Khabib said.
“Even if you were to pay him $100million (£76million), I don’t think he’d fight Conor.”
One man who disagrees with Abdelaziz’s comments is UFC president Dana White, who is adamant McGregor will be next in line for Nurmagomedov if he gets past Donald Cerrone this weekend.
“He gets what he’s been waiting for,” White answered when asked what comes next for McGregor during an appearance on The Jim Rome Show. “He gets what he’s been asking for.
“He has been chomping at the bit for the Khabib rematch. I think it’s no big secret. If he wins this weekend, he will get that shot at the title and it will be the biggest pay-per-view ever in UFC history.”
McGregor’s showdown with Cerrone will serve as the main event of UFC 246, which takes place at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.
The bout will be the Irishman’s first since losing his UFC 229 grudge match with Nurmagomedov in October 2018.