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24th Dec 2016

Dana White could send Conor McGregor into the belly of the beast for absolutely huge spectacle

Mystic Rogan?

Ben Kiely

If this fight ends up being Conor McGregor’s first ever UFC title defence, we may have to start calling Joe Rogan ‘Mystic Rogan’.

Not long after UFC 205, while everyone was still trying to work out how Conor McGregor managed to make Eddie Alvarez look like a rookie inside the Octagon, the commentator gave his prediction for the Dubliner’s next fight on his podcast ‘The Joe Rogan Experience.”

With Dana White confirming that the UFC were seriously looking into tapping into the Russian market in 2017, Rogan reckoned everything was set up perfectly for a huge lightweight title fight between McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov for the promotion’s first event based in the country.

Nurmagomedov holds a pristine 24-0 record with his most recent victory coming against powerful striker Michael Johnson on the undercard of McGregor’s history-making bout against Alvarez in New York. Many saw that fight as an unofficial lightweight title eliminator bout and Rogan believes that stellar performance may have been enough to earn him a Red Panty Night on home soil.

“Listen to what I’m saying to you right now. The UFC is about to go to Russia. They’re going to do it. UFC in Russia: Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov. That’s what I think is coming. GIANT! GIANT!”

Flash forward a few weeks and Rogan’s prediction has never looked more likely to actually happen. UFC president Dana White confirmed to MMAJunkie that the promotion are indeed considering putting on McGregor vs Nurmagomedov is Russia next. He added that expanding into Russia was one of the UFC’s top priorities right now.

“We’re focused very heavily on Russia right now. First of all, there’s tons of talent coming out of Russia, and a lot of fans. There’s a fighter named Khabib who’s from Russia, and he’s insanely popular. The next fight could be Conor vs. Khabib.”

The beauty of this fight would be the incredible atmosphere. While Nurmagomedov is massively popular in his home country, McGregor has insanely loyal fans in every corner of the globe. One may suspect the Notorious would be the heel in that situation, but is anyone really confident enough to say that with any degree of certainty?

If you’re still not sold on the location, just listen to Metallica frontman James Hetfield recount the time his group played in front of 500,000 metal fans in an airfield in the country. If that doesn’t get you excited for a UFC event over there, nothing will.