Conor McGregor is unlikely to be granted an immediate rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The Irishman was dominated and then submitted by the UFC lightweight champion earlier this month.
McGregor immediately called for a rematch despite the one-sided nature of the contest – and the ensuing brawl.
But UFC president Dana White expects Nurmagomedov to face No.1 contender Tony Ferguson when he returns.
Both Nurmagomedov and McGregor will come before the Nevada State Athletic Commission on December 10 to discover whether they will be fined and banned for their roles in the post-fight riot.
Only then will the UFC decide what is next for both men.
"They’ve got to go before the NSAC which is scheduled for December and we’ll see what happens," White told TMZ .
"Tony Ferguson is the right fight, he didn’t lose the belt in a fight so it’s the right fight.
"It’s the fight to make, we’ll see how this whole thing plays out, it all depends on the suspensions."
Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been scheduled to fight four times in the past but each time the bout has fallen through.
Most recently Ferguson was injured when he tripped on a TV set days before he was due to face his rival in April.
He had been the interim lightweight champion but was stripped of the title and Nurmagomedov became the full champion when he outpointed Al Iaquinta.
And following the first defence of his title, Nurmagomedov called out Floyd Mayweather for a boxing fight.
The ring legend accepted the challenge, but White has said the fight can only happen in the UFC.
"If Mayweather wants to fight, come fight, come to the UFC," he added.
"We’re not boxing again, we did that once [with Mayweather vs McGregor], that’s over. You wanna fight, you come fight… a real fight."
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