Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone Fight 'Nowhere Close,' Says Dana White

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2019

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, Conor McGregor reacts after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight title mixed martial arts bout at UFC 229 in Las Vegas. Nurmagomedov was fined $500,000 and suspended for nine months for a brawl inside and outside the octagon after his fight with Conor McGregor at UFC 229. McGregor was fined $50,000 and suspended for six months.  The suspensions for both fighters are retroactive to Oct. 6. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
John Locher/Associated Press

UFC President Dana White said Friday he is "nowhere close" to putting together a fight between Conor McGregor and Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone.

According to ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto, White addressed the media and revealed that he has been looking at other options for Cerrone since a fight with McGregor is far from being finalized: "These two have been talking about this, and I said if they want to fight, I would do it—but we're nowhere close to a fight. We're actually looking at other fights right now for Cowboy."

As seen in the following video, White said "the fight just didn't happen" and noted that McGregor really wants a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title:

White also said that he sees McGregor returning to the Octagon in the fall.

Talk of a McGregor vs. Cerrone fight first surfaced when Cerrone called out McGregor after beating Alexander Hernandez in January at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw.

Following the win over Hernandez, Cerrone said: "The old man has still got it. This is the fight that the UFC wanted. I wanted [a] Top Five [opponent]. I want Conor if he'll agree to it. I'm coming for a belt. Cowboy is back."

McGregor seemed receptive to the idea, tweeting: "For a fight like that Donald, I'll fight you. Congratulations."

On Wednesday, Cerrone took to Instagram to tease the fight by posting a photo of a bottle of Budweiser and a bottle of Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey. Budweiser is one of Cerrone's sponsors, and McGregor is the founder of the latter.

Along with the photo, Cerrone wrote, "@budweiser vs @properwhiskey ... July 6th."

It is widely believed UFC 239 will take place in Las Vegas on July 6, so speculation ran rampant regarding McGregor vs. Cerrone being named the main event. If White is looking for a different opponent for Cerrone, that may not be in the cards, however.

The 35-year-old Cerrone is 35-11 with one no-contest in his career, and he has won each of his last two fights after losing four of his previous five. Despite his success in UFC, Cerrone has never held a title.

McGregor, 30, is 21-4, but he is coming off a fourth-round submission loss to Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October. McGregor is serving a six-month suspension stemming from a brawl that occurred after the bout.

While McGregor is eligible to return in April, which would leave enough time book a fight between him and Cerrone for July, White's comments aren't promising for those who were hoping to see a showdown between two of UFC's biggest personalities.

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