There have been some pretty hefty threats getting thrown around this past few weeks. The trio at the top of the UFC lightweight division has been firing up on the way to UFC 223…

UFC 223 is nearly two months away, but the trash talk has been hot for some time now. Considering the fact Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov have now been scheduled to fight four times, the two streaking lightweights must be itching to get at each other.

Add in the fact the UFC still hasn’t officially stripped Conor McGregor, and this one becomes even more of a talking point. During a recent interview, Khabib Nurmagomedov stated he will face Ferguson for the undisputed belt, but the promotion doesn’t want to upset McGregor:

Per Flo Combat:

“We’re going to fight his [McGregor’s] belt,” Nurmagomedov said. “The UFC strip his belt, now we’re going to fight for real belt, 100 percent. I have contract, like, real belt. What are they going to do? They have only one real belt. They have interim belt, and they have real belt. They send me contract.”

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“We’re going to fight with Tony Ferguson for real belt. I have contract.”

What’s the confusion then? Why hasn’t the UFC officially stripped McGregor? Nurmagomedov has a theory.

“Maybe they don’t want him [McGregor] upset because he make good money,” he said. “But I know I’m going to fight for the real belt because I have contract.”

Nurmagomedov’s manager also put out a pretty harrowing interview, claiming Ferguson would retire after UFC 223. ‘El Cucuy’s’ team have fired back, with his striking coach, Rashad Holloway, telling IBTimes that both McGregor and LKhabib will get KO’d:

Is Tony Ferguson the Candyman of the lightweight division?

”The thing with Tony is he can win anyway. The last camp I felt a submission, but this one [vs Khabib], I see a knockout,”

“He never favoured fighting Tony because he’s too dangerous and now [that] Tony’s name finally blew up, he’s [McGregor] rich and lazy while Tony’s super hungry so no way he was ever fighting Tony,” Holloway said.

“McGregor has no chance at all in that fight. His ground game sucks but his striking is good. [But] he wouldn’t be able to strike with Tony. He [Tony] shows you what he wants and he’s so tough as far as taking shots, that I get on him for it.”

Tony Ferguson is the UFC interim lightweight Champion. Mandatory credit: USA Today Sports.

“More to Come”

“You all haven’t seen him really strike yet. His ability and what we work on is amazing and I’m not being biased. He has this thing where he doesn’t want to show all his cards and I fuss about it but he gets the job done. You will see more of his ability this fight [vs Khabib] for sure.”

Some time away as it is, UFC 223 is highly anticipated. The UFC lightweight champion will emerge after the event and it’s between an undefeated beast and a man who is riding ten straight UFC wins.

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