• MMA insider said Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov rematch will happen but not without live fans
  • Insider claims UFC will not want to miss out on live gate sales McGregor fight can generate
  • Justin Gaethje focused on Nurmagomedov and not McGregor

The Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov rematch will eventually happen, but the UFC wouldn’t want to miss out on live gate sales it can generate, an MMA insider has told ESPN.

After Justin Gaethje successfully claimed the UFC interim lightweight title by defeating Tony Ferguson at UFC 249, many expected that eithr Nurmagomedov or McGregor will be next. However, despite the fact that the UFC was the first mainstream organization to bravely hold a sports event amid the coronavirus pandemic, MMA insider Richard Hunter claimed the promotion will not let a McGregor fight happen without live fans.

Speaking to ESPN Radio 104.5 FM, Hunter divulged the current situation surrounding McGregor. According to Hunter, the former UFC two-division champ has always been ready to fight Nurmagomedov and he certainly thinks it will happen. But as far as his knowledge about the UFC, the management will never miss out on the massive live gate sales of a McGregor fight.

“I suppose if he (McGregor) announced that he’s ready to fight and he wants to fight Khabib. Although, I’ll tell you this, I don’t see that happening and this is kind of a unique scenario. One thing the UFC does not want to do, they’re ok right now under the circumstances with having to put on these fights with no crowd, but you do not want to lose a Conor McGregor live gate. That is a live gate like no other live gate,” Hunter revealed.

“They’ll probably wait on Conor at least until maybe the end of summer maybe even the beginning of fall, (or) when they can reopen anywhere so that they can actually allow people in,” Hunter added.

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor will face Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229. In this picture, lightweight champion Nurmagomedov faces off with McGregor during the UFC 229 Press Conference at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Sept. 20, 2018. Steven Ryan/Getty Images

As anticipated as the McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov rematch, Gaethje’s next fight is also an event to watch out for. Amid all the speculations about UFC’s next move, the current interim lightweight champ is confident that he has leverage of his next opponent. At this point, Gaethje got his eyes locked on a title bout against Nurmagomedov and not McGregor.

“He (McGregor) doesn't hold the cards right now. I put myself in a great position. I asked for a say in my destiny, and I showed up. Now I can pick between Khabib and Conor right now. If I wanted to fight Conor right now, I could. Believe me. Why wouldn't [UFC president] Dana White put that together?,” Gaethje said.

Meanwhile, now is certainly not the perfect time for Nurmagomedov to think about his next title defense. His father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov is reportedly in a coma in Moscow and recent reports claimed that it is because of the coronavirus.