While UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov serves his nine-month suspension stemming from his role in an after-the-bell attack on Conor McGregor’s camp at UFC 229, an interim title will be handed out later this summer, according to fellow lightweight contender Donald Cerrone.
Cerrone announced Friday night during a fan Q&A that he’ll square off with McGregor “this summer” and that he’ll finish him with a second-round head kick:
“It’s definitely gonna be this year,” Cerrone said, according to MMA Fighting. “This summer, I think, right? Hey, Irish, Australian, American. F*ckin’ root for whoever you want. I’m going in there to fight. I love it, man. I don’t care — boo, cheer.”
Cerrone later posted a picture on Instagram, saying the bout would be the United States vs. Ireland for the interim lightweight crown.
Cerrone made his return to the lightweight division at UFC on ESPN+ 1 for the first time in three years by dominating No. 11-ranked Alexander Hernandez. Cerrone called out McGregor after his win, and the former double champ proceeded to accept his challenge later in the night.
McGregor is serving a suspension of his own for the events that followed his loss to Nurmagomedov back in October. He’s eligible to return to the Octagon on April 6.