Will Khabib Nurmagomedov’s undefeated record be stopped, or maybe Tony Ferguson’s record-breaking streak gets snapped? Or, perhaps Conor McGregor will defend his title…
With so many possibilities for the UFC lightweight division’s future, fans are keeping a close eye on the news right now. Considering the deadline closing in on Conor McGregor being stripped, that’s March, by the way, there are two names who could potentially emerge in a title fight.
Interim champion Tony Ferguson and undefeated beast Khabib Nurmagomedov are the lead horses right now. Since McGregor won the 155-pound belt from Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, he’s been absent from MMA.
Boxing Floyd Mayweather for a monster paycheck, McGregor left the lightweight division in tatters. It didn’t help that ‘The Eagle’ dropped out of UFC 209, but he made up for it by crushing Edson Barboza last month.
Meanwhile, Ferguson subbed Kevin Lee for the junior belt, and now we find ourselves waiting for that game-changing news.
During a recent interview, UFC president Dana White declared the deadline for McGregor to defend, vacate or get stripped. Since then, we’ve not really had any updates on the situation.
White also stated the only way Khabib and Tony would square off would be for the full title unless McGregor would be willing to return by March. Given the fact it’s mid-way through January now, that’s looking highly unlikely.
Now, according to a reputable Russian news reporter, there are rumblings of a massive title fight in New York. Via his Twitter account, Ruski reporter Adam Zubayraev drops the bombshell:
Khabib will be fighting with Ferguson on April 7 in the New York, Zabit Magomedsharipov will also participate in this tournment. #ufc
— Adam Zubayraev (@AdamZubayraev) January 14, 2018
In case you missed it, here are the comments Dana White made about McGregor potentially being stripped, and how ‘The Eagle’ vs. ‘El Cucuy’ would be for the full championship:
“I don’t think he wants to fight until August, but if he waits until August or September, that’s around two years since the belt has been defended and that can’t happen,” said White.”
“As long as Conor is willing to fight by March, we could do Khabib versus Tony and then the winner fights Conor for the title,” said White. “Or, if Conor wants to sit out until next fall, then we’d have to make Khabib versus Tony for the title, not the interim title.”
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“I’ve never been afraid to pay Conor McGregor money,” said White. “Conor brings money in. We’ve laid out a really nice offer for him and he’s a smart kid, I think we’ll figure it out.”
“If Conor McGregor fights next year, that’ll be awesome. If Conor McGregor doesn’t fight, the UFC is going to go on. I’ve been hearing this since 2003. What are you going to do when Chuck Liddell’s gone? What are you going to do when Georges St-Pierre leaves? You’re in big trouble when Anderson Silva’s gone! The list goes on and on. Ronda Rousey.,,”