Speaking at the post-fight press conference following UFC 234 White was asked about his plans if lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov fulfills his promise to not fight for a year.
Khabib has said he will not fight until the end of the year-long bans his teammates, Zubaira Tukhugov and Abubakar Nurmagomedov, received for their part in the brawl at UFC 229.
The Dagastani predicted that the UFC would offer up an interim title if he does indeed sit out for 12 months, and White appears to agree with him.
‘Guys can’t sit out and wait that long if they have the title, you can’t do it. So if that’s true and he (Nurmagomedov) is going to do that, then we have to figure out something else,’ White said.
‘You start looking at whether it’s Conor McGregor-Tony Ferguson, or one of these other guys. Whoever wants to…when opportunity knocks, answer the door.
‘So we will see how this thing plays out. That’s the criteria.’
‘The Eagle’ holds the lightweight strap, and will not be surprised if someone else holds an interim version by the time he fights again.
‘I think that they will create an interim title,’ Khabib told Sportbox.
‘It could be between Poirier and Ferguson. Whoever wins will become the interim champion, and then at the end of the year we will fight for the real belt.
‘I think that could happen. At the moment I don’t know for sure.’
Ferguson is #1 in the lightweight rankings with McGregor at #2 so it would make sense for these two to contest an interim belt if it is up for grabs.
However, #3 Dustin Poirier and #4 Al Iaquinta will also like to be considered for a crack at the gold.