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Khabib Nurmagomedov will fight Justin Gaethje with the winner facing Conor McGregor, says UFC president Dana White.
Nurmagomedov and Gaethje will meet in September to crown an undisputed UFC lightweight champion and McGregor will take on the winner in a blockbuster showdown before the year's end or in early 2021.
Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje could take place on UFC 'Fight Island' following the American's sensational victory over Tony Ferguson at UFC 249, where he claimed the interim-UFC lightweight title.
Justin Gaethje landed :one::four::three: significant strikes against Tony Ferguson at over 70% accuracy :dart:- UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) May 11, 2020
Power and precision with lethal results! :punch: pic.twitter.com/J1fq1HiR35
McGregor, on the other hand, will return to action this summer before fighting for UFC gold.
White revealed: "I actually talked to Khabib today, Khabib told me he'd be ready in September.
"Earlier today, I had said [he could fight] this summer, because we were texting back and forth last night and it sounded to me like he was ready to go, but he's said September.
"Obviously I don't know what the world is going to look like in September, but I assume it's still going to be hard to get people in and out of the country so I am definitely thinking it's going to be on Fight Island.
"Obviously Gaethje and Khabib is going to happen, looks like that's going to happen in September. And we'll figure out what's next for Conor."
White added: "Conor will probably fight this summer, then you have [Gaethje-Khabib] fight in September, and then that will line up a fight up for the winner."
The Irishman, meanwhile, stoked his rivalry with Nurmagomedov and Gaethje as he attacked them both on social media during a Twitter tirade.
The former UFC double champion was supposed to clash with Gaethje in July until 'The Highlight' stepped in on short notice to fight Ferguson last weekend.
McGregor has now been linked with fights against Nate Diaz and BMF champion Jorge Masvidal.
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