Conor McGregor fans won’t be happy about this…
The fans have spoken and most of them don’t believe Conor McGregor is the greatest lightweight in the UFC. Part of the reason for this might be that he has only fought at lightweight once in the UFC. Still, one would have expected Conor fans to hijack such a poll considerably.
Fans were given the option of picking Tony Ferguson, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor or a write-in candidate.
The poll comes on the heels of news Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov will only be fighting for the interim title when they clash at UFC 223. Many had expected Conor McGregor to be stripped of his lightweight belt in-time for the UFC to make Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov for the official championship.
Unfortunately, it seems the UFC is not willing to take the title off Conor in-time for UFC 223.
Who is the Real Lightweight Champion?
How long it takes for an inactive fighter to be stripped of their championship seems to be left to the sole discretion of Dana White. This unbalanced set of rules is irritating to many and particularly for Tony Ferguson.
The UFC interim lightweight title-holder had this to say regarding his fight with Khabib not being for the undisputed belt.
“They were saying: ‘You guys are fighting for the undisputed title’. That was right before they told me that I was gonna fight Conor McGregor. And then the whole bunch of shit just went down…”
“Dana White’s telling us one thing on one part of the curtain, and on the other side he’s saying: ‘No, Conor McGregor’s the champion’. I love Dana, but what the fuck, dude?”
Building to Khabib vs. Conor in Russia?
One thought as to why the promotion might not have stripped Conor of the title despite a 14-month absence from the octagon is the potential for a bout between him and Khabib in Russia.
The UFC currently has two reserved dates at the Olympiyskiy Stadium in Moscow for September 14th and 15th, 2018. Perhaps the company is holding those dates just in case Khabib wins at 223. September just so happens to be the month Conor estimated he’ll be ready to return by as well.
#themmahour question of the week #2:
Who do you consider to be the best lightweight fighter in the world?
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 22, 2018
Who is the Greatest Lightweight Fighter?
Surprisingly, neither the lightweight or interim lightweight UFC champion were chosen as the greatest in the division. Instead, the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov won the poll with 46% of the vote.
Perhaps the most surprising part of the poll was how poorly Tony Ferguson did. Only 14% of those who responded felt as though the current interim champion is the true best in the division.
Khabib, however, believes he has to beat Ferguson to truly be champion.
“In my opinion, I think Tony Ferguson is the real champion,” Nurmagomedov has stated. “I don’t think if I fight Tony Ferguson this is for the interim belt … it’s the real belt. People want to see me and Tony Ferguson. I think this is a much better fight for me to take everything back. If I beat Tony and take interim belt I think Conor is official champion, but not the peoples champion.”