Conor McGregor ready to headline UFC 248 in March if needed
After fighting just twice in three years, in the UFC, we could get two 'Notorious' bouts in the space of two months.
UFC 248 was hit with another blow, overnight, but Conor McGregor is willing to pony up.
The UFC have invited welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and B.M.F title holder Jorge Masvidal to Las Vegas and are putting them up for interviews on Thursday afternoon. Dana White, the promotion's president, insists it purely a scheduling coincidence but both men are on the look-out for their next opponent.
Conor McGregor insists his sole focus is on going in and putting on a show for his fans against Donald Cerrone, this weekend. He is not ruling out his first ever submission victory in the UFC but fancies the knock-out.
Such is the interest in McGregor, and other fighters giving their take on him, that potential bouts are always being talked about. Although this is only his third ever fight at 170 lbs, the 31-year-old would have his pick of Usman or Masvidal should be defeat Cerrone at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night. The other pulsing option would be to go after a rematch with lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
During the UFC 246 press conference, in which McGregor and Cerrone were both respectful of each other, the Dubliner was asked for his preference between Usman and Masvidal. He sided with Masvidal, who beat Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz last year, and remarked that Usman, 'has the style of Khabib - the sniff-the-jockstrap style'.
McGregor has also spoken about this being the '2020 season' for him and proclaimed he could fight three, even four, times this year. To that end, he was asked if he could possibly turn around from Saturday's fight and head straight back into another fight camp. UFC 248 is looking for a co-main event after Robert Whittaker pulled out of his middleweight bout against Jared Cannonier for 'undisclosed person reasons'.
"Yes, yes," said McGregor. "God-willing, we come out of here safe from this bout on Saturday night. Most certainly, March would be attainable.
"Line them f***ing up, I do not care. Any weight, any condition, any anything, I am in prime condition and ready to go."
Last week, McGregor told Ariel Helwani that he intended to celebrate at his post-fight party then rest up on Sunday and return to the gym on Monday. His press conference comments back up his intentions to stay active.
The UFC had been hoping to tee up a middleweight title fight between champion Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero as a co-main title fight for UFC 248 - alongside Weili Zhang's straw-weight title defence against Joanna Jedrzejczyk - but that bout is up in the air. Paulo Costa is also in the running to face Adesanya.
On UFC 248 and either McGregor or Cerrone making a quick return to the Octagon, Dana White replied, "Anything s possible. Let's see what happens on Saturday."