After all the madness, all the talks of crazy fights in new weight classes, it has come to this. UFC president Dana White has laid down the law on lightweight champion Conor McGregor…
Following his whirlwind trip to the world of boxing, fans expected to see Conor McGregor quickly booked up against Tony Ferguson. During McGregor’s absence from MMA, ‘El Cucuy’ has won the interim 155-pound title.
Ferguson defeated Kevin Lee at UFC 216 to claim that accolade, lining himself for the ultimate payday in MMA. Immediately after his submission against Lee, Ferguson went on a non-stop verbal attack against ‘The Notorious.’
McGregor’s next scrap in the octagon was sealed, at least that’s how it seemed. Typically of the globally recognized Irishman, everybody wanted a piece. Middleweight champion of the time, Georges St-Pierre voiced his desire to compete against McGregor.
Even Floyd Mayweather, the man who’d schooled McGregor in boxing, was linked to a possible UFC contract.
Undefeated contender Khabib Nurmagomedov faces Edson Barboza this Saturday at UFC 219, adding another twist to the lightweight plot. Meanwhile, McGregor is in no rush to return, as he continues to demand equity in the UFC.
According to UFC president Dana White, McGregor’s only option is to defend the lightweight title. Although that seems black and white, typically there’s much more to the story. Speaking during today’s airing of ‘Undisputed,’ White dished the goods:
“If Conor McGregor fights next year, that’ll be awesome. If Conor McGregor doesn’t fight, the UFC will go on. […] There’s two different sides to this coin, there’s the one that you just said [about it being hard to wake up in the morning and get hit in the face when you’re so rich].
Then there’s the one where there is only many trips you can go on and there’s only so much stuff you can buy before you start to get bored and you want to get back in the game. So, I don’t know. I don’t really have a feel on what Conor wants to do. Conor’s rich, it’s the holidays, I’m sure his whole family has a great Christmas. We’ll see what the New Year brings.”
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“What we have to do, is he needs to defend that [UFC lightweight] title. Nate [Diaz] isn’t even in the title picture. Nate’s ranked – that’s one of those fights that shouldn’t have been made in the first place, but it happened at that time and it was great, it was an amazing fight. People loved it, so somewhere down the line there’s a possibility for a trilogy, but right now he has to defend his title against Tony Ferguson.
Tony Ferguson is the fight right now and is the move if he wants to come back. […] Whoever wins the [Edson] Barboza/Khabib [Nurmagomedov] fight while we’re trying to figure out this Conor mess, could end up fighting Tony Ferguson for the opportunity to fight Conor McGregor. So, we’ll see.”
Quotes from BJPenn.com