Dana White didn't waste time rejecting Conor McGregor's idea for Moscow to host a highly anticipated rematch between him and rival Khabib Nurmagomedov.
But that didn't stop "Notorious" from taking shots at Khabib in the interim. Fresh off his 40-second destruction of Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 on Saturday night, McGregor took the podium for his post-fight news conference and claimed he was "more Russian" than Nurmagomedov, a Dagestan native.
“I love Russia, I love the Russian people," McGregor told reporters. "I went to Moscow recently and they're such a great nation. They are so passionate about the sport of mixed martial arts, they are so passionate about myself. They support me greatly, they support Proper 12 Irish Whiskey. And they know a good liquid, they know a good spirit. So, they are good spirited people. And what a place. It would be something out of like a Rocky movie, you know what I mean? So, I will be very eager to do that.
“Let’s see what happens. I want to create spectacles for the people," he continued. "That’s one hell of a spectacle. Even me going out there to Moscow at that time, the place shut down, the world took notice. You know what I mean. My man was saying, I wasn’t allowed down there, I wasn’t supposed to be out there.
"They were running the streets screaming my name. So, I'm more Russian than that man (Khabib), so I would love to go to Moscow and compete there.”
McGregor's comments came after White slammed the door shut on McGregor's wish to have the Khabib-McGregor rematch in Russia's capital.
"Nope. It ain't happening in Moscow," White said of the rematch. "There's many, many reasons why it wouldn't happen in Moscow."
White added that the United Kingdom, New York City, AT&T Stadium in Dallas and Las Vegas were more logical places to host the fight, but acknowledged that Khabib isn't too fond of Vegas following his experience there. After all, Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor in Las Vegas back in October 2018, but hopped over the Octagon to put hands on a McGregor stablemate and that sparked a wild melee. That resulted in a nine-month suspension for Nurmagomedov and him having to pay a $500,000 fine.
After McGregor was informed of White's resistance to hold the fight in Moscow, the Irish fighter persisted by offering a couple of advantages to having the bout there.
"There's a lot of money in Russia," McGregor asserted. "There's a lot of revenue in Russia."