Khabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje set for June 'Fight Island' battle, Dana White says

Sporting News

UFC president Dana White expects a lightweight unification bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje to be staged on "Fight Island" next month.

Gaethje turned his attention to a showdown with undisputed champion Nurmagomedov after beating Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 last weekend to take the interim title.

Nurmagomedov was due to fight Ferguson in Brooklyn, N.Y., last month, but that battle could not go ahead because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has left the Russian stuck in Dagestan. Gaethje grasped his chance to replace Nurmagomedov and will now get his shot at the undefeated champ.

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White said the venue that has been christened "Fight Island" — a secret location off the coast of the United States — remains under construction but should be ready for the pair to lock horns by the end of June.

He told ESPN Radio Chicago: "I don't know if it will be the first one, but it will be on 'Fight Island,' unless miraculously the world comes back together faster than I think it's gonna."

White added: "Hopefully ['Fight Island'] will be done by mid-June, and I could put on a fight that weekend that it's done, or end of June."

Conor McGregor called out Gaethje with a social media rant Monday, but White said the Irishman will have to wait.

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"Any time Conor McGregor is fighting, it's exciting, but yeah, I'm very excited for Gaethje vs. Khabib," White said. "I think stylistically it's a great matchup. I'm looking forward to it."

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