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Conor McGregor has confirmed plans to fill in for Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in case of an injury to either fighter.
UFC president Dana White says that McGregor is on standby for the lightweight championship contest in April.
And the 31-year-old Dublin star is banking on replacing either Nurmagomedov or Ferguson to earn another shot at UFC gold.
"Likely something will happen there, so I'll be ready to slide in for that belt," he revealed to The Mac Life.
McGregor returns to action on January 18 at UFC 246 against Donald Cerrone, and he's looking at 2020 as a season.
"So I'll just have a good solid camp at 170 with no weight cut, a good fight. I know Donald's a good fighter. [He has] great records. Most knockdowns, most head kicks, most fights, most rounds. He's got a lot of UFC records under his belt," he added.
"So I'll get a great camp, a great fight, and then it'll take me into the year. I'm looking at this as a season. This was the beginning of the season. Donald was the first one that I agreed to have a bout with, and here we are."
The ex-'champ-champ' also aimed a dig at Nurmagomedov, claiming the Russian is trembling over a potential rematch.
"He is trembling... he can run, but he cannot hide."@TheNotoriousMMA wants a rematch with Khabib, calling his training camp for their first fight "horrendous."
Full interview via @Maclifeofficial :arrow_forward: https://t.co/i1WSVTMlve pic.twitter.com/1avPQS3TBF
- ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 3, 2020
"He is trembling. That man is trembling," he said about Nurmagomedov. "He doesn't want it. He doesn't want it. You get it and he's trying not to lose it again. I just smell sh*t. That's all it is. He's afraid and that's it.
"But everyone wants it. The boss wants it, Dana [White] wants it, we all want it. So he can run but he cannot hide. I look forward to it.
"In my mind, round 1, I won round 1. I outstruck him 3-to-1.
"He had position on the mat but I outstruck him 3-to-1. What did he do in that first round? Second round, look at the lackadaisical approach I had, he was just running around the outside of the cage and he caught that lucky shot and he had a great second round.
"What happened after that? I win the third round."
Will McGregor get his wish and face Nurmagomedov this year? Watch this space.
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