While all indications from Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather are that a potential fight between the two is getting closer and closer to happening, UFC President Dana White is pumping the brakes a bit on it. Speaking to TMZ Sports this weekend, White said that they are “nowhere” with putting the fight together. He also added that he expects McGregor’s next fight to be in the UFC. “I expect Conor’s next fight to be in the UFC, in mixed martial arts and the winner of Khabib vs. Ferguson,” he said.
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will be fighting Saturday night for UFC’s Interim Lightweight Championship. The true UFC Lightweight Champion McGregor won the title last November against Eddie Alvarez, but soon after made his intentions known that he would be taking time off and has been pursuing a boxing match with Mayweather in the meantime.
No timeline has been set for the Mayweather fight or a UFC return, so it could be a while before we see McGregor fighting in any sport.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: I put very little stock into what Dana White had to say when it comes to these things. He said for months that Georges St. Pierre did not want to fight and now he’s back with the company. While the McGregor-Mayweather fight is still a long shot to actually happen, it is probably closer than White is letting on and this is all part of his negotiation strategy, or he just wants to keep it under wraps. Ultimately, whether this fight happens or not may end up in UFC’s hands, so I expect this to be a drawn-out painful process much like the GSP negotiations.
MONDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal is being targeted for the April 22 UFC Fight Night from Nashville and will be the card’s main event. Combate first reported the news. Originally, Cub Swanson vs. Artem Lobov was the announced main event.
-UFC officially announced Claudia Gadelha vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz for UFC 212 on June 3 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
-Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva believes that former Pro Bowl NFL player Greg Hardy is MMA-bound. “He’s a very smart boy, he’s big, he trains every day, he’s [got] dedication for this new career,” he told TMZ Sports. Hardy was put on the NFL commissioner’s “exempt list” after he was accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend a few years ago. The charges were later dropped and his record expunged. He began training with American Top Team in Florida after announcing he was going to work toward a post-NFL career in MMA.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/26: “Filthy” Tom Lawler officially suspended two years by USADA (w/Cervantes Analysis)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)