Halfway through Dana White’s UFC 246 press conference last weekend, he laid it out in typical Dana White fashion. A reporter had been grilling him on who should step in if Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson drops out of UFC 249 on April 19 – Conor McGregor or Justin Gaethje? The question stemmed from who would be best suited to fight McGregor next and which would draw the most attention. White then pointed to a guy working a camera at the press conference at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and delivered a deadpan response. “Conor McGregor and this guy right here with the camera is a huge fight,” he said to laughter from the media. White has never minced words and his UFC 246 post-fight press conference was filled with comedic gold zingers and juicy nuggets of intel on a number of MMA hot topics. One of the most tantalising was McGregor’s desire, and the UFC president’s willingness, to get Nurmagomedov back in the Octagon for a bloody, vicious and lucrative rematch. White outlined how McGregor felt out of place against the Russian in late 2018, with a host of personal issues and injuries rendering him less than 100 per cent, all of which seem to be visions of the past as we are introduced to Conor McGregor: version 2.0. McGregor will probably fight sometime after March, said White, which would be less than a month before Nurmagomedov most likely dispatches Ferguson. First problem is the Russian Avar, who is Muslim, will be heading into Ramadan (April 23 to May 23) and most likely will not want to fight before, during or after that window. Conor McGregor proves he’s more than just a left hand (though that’s still killer) in UFC 246 clinic White also poured cold water on a potential McGregor tilt against Jorge Masvidal for the “BMF” belt. However, that would require McGregor to stay at 170 pounds and not cut to 155 to fight Nurmagomedov. This fight makes a lot of sense, but White said he’d much rather see Masvidal fight Kamaru Usman , which also makes sense, as Masvidal took advantage of McGregor’s hiatus to become the UFC’s newest superstar. McGregor versus Nurmagomedov would be the biggest UFC fight off all time, as White said it would flirt with McGregor-Mayweather status when it comes to revenue and pay-per-view buys. He is right, this would be a global attraction, simply because watching McGregor fight the guy he hates the most, and the guy most think would still beat him, offers a tantalising storyline. White further played up the fight, saying it would rank alongside some legendary boxing matches over the years, and be a “legacy” for both involved. “We’re looking at like Ali-Foreman or Ali-Fraser. This is a massive fight with global appeal, it’s the fight that you make, it’s the fight that makes sense, for the 155-pound title.” It could also be a stadium fight as White pitched a few venues – Las Vegas, Dallas, New York and even London – while ruling out Russia quite quickly. Bottom line: you could host this fight in the middle of the Antarctic and box seats would still cost more than a Rolex watch. The problem is, however, that this rematch works best as a denouement, not a third act. Conor McGregor breaks Donald Cerrone’s nose and breaks out the whiskey – he’s back What McGregor vs Khabib II doesn’t offer is a proper 2020 character arc for the Irish whiskey salesman. His comeback fight against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, in which McGregor violently assaulted the American for 40 seconds before the referee put a stop to the massacre, was just what the UFC needed to reignite McGregor’s stardom. McGregor then did what he does best, he mouthed off: on his alcohol brand, other “mouthy” fighters and his love of being Irish, grabbing headlines around the world. He’s back, people, and the UFC has extra mainstream relevance. This is what people love, and love to hate. The UFC needs McGregor to continue winning – for now – to reclaim his Octagon clout. Heading into a grudge match with Nurmagomedov, cutting a bunch of weight and taking on a premier wrestler and grappler is not the ideal fight for McGregor, nor a crowd-pleaser. He would most likely lose, and his brand and appeal would take a hit. The UFC’s best bet is to line him up against secondary stars to knock down in typical McGregor fashion. A trilogy match against Nate Diaz, who McGregor beat in 2016, would do well as water bottles would fly and the trash talk would be sufficiently epic and foul-mouthed. McGregor has a score to settle with the Russian, but there is a more pertinent and tangible one given the circumstances right now with Diaz, and one McGregor can most likely win and continue his comeback story. You also have No 2-ranked lightweight Gaethje in the mix, whom McGregor’s coach is keen to see the Irishman fight at 170 pounds next, and of course Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, part of what appears to be a conveyor belt of fighters lining up to take on the megastar. So, where does that leave us? By the second half of 2020, McGregor and Nurmagomedov’s storylines will have more chapters and this could be the prime time for their rematch. Or they could even hold on until 2021. Maybe White should hit pause on the biggest fight in UFC history and let its two stars simmer and stew. Neither of them is going anywhere and when this monumental fight does take place, a little patience may go a long way in orchestrating a legacy fight for the ages.