Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during weigh-ins for UFC 196 fight against Nate Diaz (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-266164 ORIG FILE ID: 20160304_mjr_su5_017.JPG

Dana White: Conor McGregor vs. ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone ‘Nowhere Close’ to Happening

A highly anticipated bout between Conor McGregor and Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone appears to be off the table for the time being.

A highly anticipated bout between Conor McGregor and Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone appears to be off the table for the time being.

That’s according to UFC president Dana White, who addressed the rumored matchup after Cerrone was teasing the possible showdown on Instagram while attaching a July 6 date for the fight.

As much as Cerrone and McGregor talked about facing each other, it seems the UFC is moving in a different direction all together.

“Listen these two have been talking about this and I said if they want to fight I’d do it, but we’re nowhere close to a fight,” White said on Friday at the UFC 236 pre-fight press conference. “We’re actually looking at other opponents right now for ‘Cowboy’.”

White later told ESPN that the UFC was currently considering a fight between Cerrone and fellow top 10 ranked lightweight Al Iaquinta, who is coming off a big win over Kevin Lee this past December.

Cerrone has never been one to turn down a challenge so it’s not likely he’ll shy away from a fight against Iaquinta but obviously he hoped to get McGregor next instead.

White added that he now expects McGregor to target a return in the fall rather than an earlier date in the summer as first expected.

White didn’t expand on why McGregor wouldn’t return until later in the year but it appears the former two-division champion will remain on the shelf for a big part of 2019.

There’s no word yet on how quickly the UFC will move to book Cerrone into a different fight but it looks like he’ll have to reset his expectations about what comes next now that the McGregor matchup is likely no longer a viable option.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.
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