'Conor and Khabib is the fight to happen right now' - Dana White meeting McGregor before Brooklyn trial
'The Notorious' is heading to the United States this week for his court date in Brooklyn.
June 14, in Brooklyn, will be pivotal for Conor McGregor and Cian Cowley and their future fight plans.
The pair handed themselves into police back in April after they were sought for their alleged roles in an attack on a bus carrying UFC fighters, their managers, and staff at the Barclays Center. The likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Michael Chiesa, Ray Borg and Rose Namajunas were on the bus, following a UFC 223 media day, when it came under attack.
McGregor faces the possibility of jail time but Dmitriy Shakhnevich, a Brooklyn criminal defence attorney, told SportsJOE that eventuality is 'highly unlikely, very highly unlikely'.
Of all the felony charges he faces, one for second degree Criminal Mischief could subject him to up to seven years in New York State prison if he is found guilty.
All the while, the UFC are at work behind the scenes to get McGregor back in the Octagon as soon as possible, should he be spared of any prison sentence. MMA Fighting reported that the promotion had initial hopes of lining up a mini lightweight tournament, of sorts, involving McGregor, Nurmagomedov, Georges St-Pierre and Nate Diaz.
St-Pierre, who claimed the middleweight [185lbs] belt in his last fight, has cited health issues and Diaz is holding out for a bigger fight purse but the UFC is moving on with the other side of their plan. UFC president told reporters after the UFC 225 ceremonial weigh-ins that he considers St-Pierre "retired" but he had interesting news on a potential title fight at 155lbs. He said:
"He just fought at 185 pounds and didn't defend the title. What, am I gonna have him fight down there?
"First of all, we don't know if he can make the weight. 185 to 155. And what has he done in that division to deserve a fight with either one of those guys? Eehhh, the answer is nothing!
"I think Khabib would have a massive fight with Conor. That's the fight to happen right now."
A fight between McGregor, who was stripped of his lightweight belt in April, against new champion Nurmagomedov is likely to take place in Las Vegas and would smash all current pay-per-view records.
White stressed that St-Pierre would have to first fight a lightweight contender [without mentioning Diaz by name] before he would be considered for any title fight. That could, of course, be posturing as 'Rush' did return last year and was granted an immediate title fight against then-champion Michael Bisping.
McGregor and White were supposed to meet ahead of UFC Liverpool, late last month, but that get-together was postponed. White is planning to meet the Dubliner before his trial, though.
"Between now [June 8] and his court date, we'll meet," he said.