UFC

Dana White.

Dana White may crown an interim Lightweight champion following Khabib Nurmagomedov's suspension

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The UFC were dealt another blow this weekend as their main event for the big Australia card had to be shelved just hours before the start of the show.

Robert Whittaker was set to defend his Middleweight championship against Kelvin Gastelum, but owing to an abdominal hernia and a collapsed bowel, the Aussie was unable to compete.

That made Israel Adesanya against Anderson Silva the main event, with 'The Last Stylebender' coming out victorious against his idol.

Dana White could have done without losing another champion, as one had just been suspended weeks ago in the form of Lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is willing to sit out of action for one year, which leaves the UFC with a problem to solve for their Lightweight division

'The Eagle' was suspended for nine months for his role in the post-fight antics at UFC 229, but after his corner-men Zubaira Tukhugov and brother Abubakar were give year-long suspensions, he has stated he will stand with them in solidarity, effectively ruling him out of action until October.

That constitutes a problem for the UFC, as several contenders were ready for a shot at Khabib, none more-so than Tony Ferguson.

White stated in the post-fight press conference following 234 in Melbourne that he likes the idea of Ferguson against Nurmagomedov, but if the Russian isn't going to return until the end of 2019, alternative arrangements need to be made.

“Guys can’t sit out and wait that long if they have the title, you can’t do it," White said, per MMAMania.

Dana White has hinted at creating an interim Lightweight title following Khabib Nurmagomedov's admission that he will sit out until October

"So if that’s true and he is going to do that, then we have to figure out something else.

“You start looking at whether it’s Conor McGregor and 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.”

A number of fighters will feel that they deserve to be in the bout to be crowned the interim champion, and Donald Cerrone has already told his fans that he will be fighting Conor McGregor for the strap.

Whether that happens remains to be seen - it'll be a popular fight for sure, but Dana of course may disagree.

Topics:
Dana White
Khabib Nurmagomedov
UFC

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