Dana White has insisted he wants Conor McGregor to fight interim champion Tony Ferguson on his return, denying claims Nate Diaz is in pole position to face the Irishman.
Video: Demetrious Johnson makes history with sublime submission victory at UFC 216 Ferguson became the next natural challenger to lightweight champion McGregor when he claimed the interim title on Saturday at UFC 216.
The new interim champion submitted Kevin Lee in an absorbing encounter in Las Vegas which saw Ferguson dropped in the first round. McGregor will return either in December or early 2018 and White says the UFC’s biggest star never turns down a challenge.
‘Conor McGregor has never turned down a fight,’ White said. ‘Conor doesn’t turn down fights, so it’s not a matter of ‘Conor wouldn’t want to fight Ferguson,’ or this or that. ‘Obviously, Conor had an opportunity to make a lot of money [against Mayweather], and I felt it was my duty to try and make that fight happen.
‘And we did. I’d like to get back to business and see some title defenses.’ Diaz has been lobbying for a third fight with McGregor since losing to him in August 2016 in the rematch of their March 2016 fight. McGregor has always insisted he will make the trilogy fight with Diaz and end the rivalry between the pair.