UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson is caught up in an interesting conundrum at the top of the lightweight division. Chances are, ‘El Cucuy’ might be facing the recently victorious Khabib Nurmagomedov next…
The UFC lightweight division has seen some difficult times over the past year. Ever since Conor McGregor won the title at UFC 205, the situation at 155 pounds has grown more complicated.
Similar to when he was featherweight champion, McGregor has not fought at his title weight for over a year since claiming the belt. Unlike his first title reign, it was a boxing match that’s kept McGregor from defending the lightweight belt.
During his absence, Tony Ferguson has ascended to the interim title with a UFC 216 submission win over Kevin Lee. An accolade in itself, Ferguson’s junior title is as far as anyone can get at lightweight while McGregor jostles for position with the UFC.
After McGregor’s latest rant, Ferguson’s ‘defend or vacate’ demands might not even come into the equation. It could be a case of ‘fight or retire’ at this point.
McGregor vs. Ferguson? Possibly Not…
“Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me. Otherwise I don’t give a bollox. My whiskey is out this year and thats Diddy bread. Khabib looked like dog sh*t!”
That was McGregor’s message to his employers, leading many to again speculate on the Irishman’s future in the UFC. Meanwhile, with Khabib Nurmagomedov coming off his 9th straight UFC win, there’s another big dog in the lightweight division who is actually active.
Although Ferg and Khabib have been involved in social media spats in the past, Ferguson praised ‘The Eagle’ after UFC 219:
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) January 1, 2018
Surprising…With a Little Bit of Trolling
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s recent social media activity has been aimed mainly at McGregor. Having already stated ‘The Notorious’ wasn’t the real champ in his eyes, the Dagistani wrestler launched an assault on Twitter.
Using that age-old classic bear meme, Nurmagomedov accused McGregor of ducking him:
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) January 1, 2018
“Now I’m healthy. For this camp, I’m in my healthiest period ever, like everywhere I’m healthy, inside, outside, knees, back, everything is healthy and when I begin this training camp I feel good and this is why I make weight,” Nurmagomedov told LowKickMMA.
“When I’m healthy, I always make weight, but now I hope next year I’m gonna stay busy, stay healthy, no injuries, and I want to fight April, May, before Ramadan. After, I want to fight September and I want to fight December. This is my plan. I want to fight in 2018, three times.”
Also claiming he would fight both McGregor and Ferguson in one night, ‘The Eagle’ is truly back on form. Although it’s great to see Nurmagomedov pick up another win, this does not resolve the current situation at the top end of the lightweight division.
With Ferguson recently undergoing surgery, a title fight between McGregor and Khabib would look a lot like what happened with GSP vs. Bisping at middleweight. Watch this space.