UFC president Dana White spoke with Kevin Iole for Yahoo Sports on Friday and detailed his plans to have lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez defend his belt against the unbeaten Khabib Nurmagomedov. White also wants featherweight champion Conor McGregor to defend his belt against interim champion Jose Aldo.
Iole also spoke with Nurmagomedov, who said he has signed two contracts to fight Alvarez, one for UFC 205 in New York on November 12 and another for UFC 206 in Toronto on December 10. The UFC now wants the Alvarez fight to take place at UFC 206.
However, McGregor wants to be the first ever two-belt champion, not a beat-Aldo-again champion. And Alvarez wants to be a rich champion. So both fighters are campaigning hard for a fight with each other. And McGregor may have an injury sufficient to push him off the UFC 205 date.
“Conor’s foot is hurt, but he thinks he can fight,” White said. “I want him to fight Aldo. … [Nurmagomedov] is the No. 1 contender.”
Nurmagomedov really, really wants the title fight and even offered to fight Michael Bisping at UFC 204 on October 8, in Manchester, England, if Dan Henderson gets hurt.
“That would be no problem,” said Nurmagomedov.
“Alvarez wants to fight McGregor because it’s an easy fight and it’s a lot of money to fight him. But he has to fight me. Dana White has told me, ‘He is fighting you. He has to fight you.’ His record is only 2-1 in the UFC and he loses like a chicken to Cowboy. How did he even get a title shot? I don’t know why he is so scared to fight me.”
“I would have to be careful in the first because he does punch hard. In the second, I would start to catch him and in the third, I’d finish him. Mentally, he’s already lost to me.”
“I’ve worked for this title my whole life. Madison Square Garden is the biggest arena in the world. Of course, I would like to fight there. But Congo, Manila, Russia, Canada, Brazil, I don’t care. All I want is 25 minutes in the cage with Alvarez.
“Put me in a cage somewhere with him and lock the door. Then I can show the world who the best really is.”
Things should become much clearer on Tuesday when the UFC holds a press conference in New York on Tuesday. The UFC 205 card will be announced and “the stars of UFC 205 will be in attendance.”