UFC 223 sees the lightweight title on the line for the first time in nearly 18 months. Not the interim belt, the unified lightweight title, between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov…
It’s still a strange situation at the top of the lightweight division, even two weeks out from the title being contested for. Tony Ferguson won the interim version of the belt at UFC 214 against Kevin Lee, but has since (kinda) been promoted to full champion.
Although the UFC made as little fanfare as possible about relinquishing McGregor of the title, it had to be done. ‘The Notorious’ has no set timeline for his return, and with Khabib Nurmagomedov remaining undefeated against Edson Barboza recently, there was only one fight left to make.
It would appear, although extremely lofty, the UFC has a limit to how far they will push the boundaries of legitimacy when titles are involved. Ferguson vs. Khabib will decide the greatest lightweight on the planet.
According to numerous sources, including MiddleEasy.com, Conor McGregor will be watching UFC 223 from Octagon-side. After the fight’s conclusion, the report says, the Irishman will hop in the octagon for a confrontation.
Hopefully, this time, it won’t be with a referee:
Huge if true, but it still looks like Conor McGregor is scheduled to attend UFC 223. The UFC has gone away from the practice over the last few years, but there is a possibility of them working in a McGregor versus the winner Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov post-fight face-off.
According to one of his latest statement, Khabib feels McGregor should be flipping burgers and not fighting:
“A lot of people call him like a king, but he’s not like a king. Now he’s Burger King. He has money, he has good life, he’s a famous guy. I think it’s better for him if he stays away from good fighters in the lightweight division. For me, too, because when you go to the cage with me it’s not like you’re going to cage with Burger King. This is different. That’s why he has to stay away.”
As for Ferguson, ‘The Eagle’ said he was basically going to ragdoll his rival on April 7:
There are two fighters (Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson), which I dislike as individuals. Their trash talking is not only in words, but also in deeds. I do not like these people, and I will do everything to defeat them.
Of course, there is no underestimation, but when I grab his thin model waist, he can hardly do anything. Many say that he is good at the stand (up), he has dangerous elbows and so on. For me it’s interesting. In fight with him I will go out to death. I have no other choice. This fight will show which of us is the best.
But I can also demonstrate many things that no one else has seen. This makes our confrontation interesting.