Dana does think the fight could happen this year but there are other factors involved.
The MMA world was buzzing on the weekend of October 6th because of the UFC 229 show that was live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas that featured a number of highly regarded bouts such as Tony Ferguson versus Anthony Pettis and Derrick Lewis versus Alexander Volkov but everyone's attention was focused on the aftermath of the Conor McGregor versus Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC Lightweight Championship fight.
Khabib scored the victory over McGregor via submission but immediately after the bout was over, Khabib decided to take the fight outside of the octagon and kick-started a brawl with Dillion Danis who is Conor McGregor's jiu-jitsu coach. Dana White stated during the post-UFC 229 press conference that he saw one of Conor's corner-men talking to Khabib which may have escalated the already existing tension in the building. Despite the aftermath, there have been rumblings from fight fans about a possible rematch between McGregor and Nurmagomedov and UFC President Dana White commented on the possibility of a rematch between the two when he sat down with TMZ Sports and they brought up how the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones shared that he wants to see a rematch between Conor and Khabib.
“He [Jon Jones] wants to see Conor/Khabib? I think a lot of people want to see that fight. We gotta see how this thing -- obviously, again, we still haven’t gone before the Nevada State Athletic Commission. That’s gotta happen, and when that does we can figure out how this whole thing plays out. Is Max [Holloway] moving to 55? Tony Ferguson, obviously in the mix so we gotta see how it plays out.” Dana White was then asked if he thinks Conor versus Khabib will happen in 2019, “Yeah, I do. Obviously, guys are gonna have to win, depends on how long the suspensions are and things like that but yeah, I mean, as long as everything goes right, this fight should happen.”
While mentioning Jon Jones, to hear some thoughts and opinions about his victory at UFC 232, head over to the Fightful MMA & Boxing YouTube channel where the UFC 232 review is located.
If the quote in this article is used, please credit TMZ Sports with an H/T to Fightful for the transcription.