Since Conor McGregor has fought just one time in the UFC’s lightweight division, more than a few have argued that Tony Ferguson is the legit, lightweight champ, and it looks like Evan Dunham’s in agreement.
McGregor took the lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez last November, following back-to-back bouts with Nate Diaz, which were contested at 170 pounds. Since McGregor has yet to defend the lightweight belt, and has fought just once in the Octagon at 155 pounds, some have argued Ferguson’s the real champ. The reason being that “El Cucuy” is riding a ten fight winning streak, has defeated several top 155’ers, and holds the interim belt.
Recently Dunham was a guest on MMA Junkie.com Radio, and the rugged vet had this to say about the UFC’s championship picture (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“The division is so jammed up at the top that it makes it really tough for anybody to work their way up,” said Dunham, who also reportedly relayed he’s a fan of McGregor. “Because you’ve got Diaz, who’s not doing anything. You’ve got Conor, who’s – well, last weekend kind of helped it out. Now we have an interim champion, and there is starting to be some movement.”
“That’s why the interim title was made,” Dunham added, while discussing the contention that McGregor and Ferguson need to fight. “That’s the reason why they did the whole thing last weekend. Ferguson is the champ. In my book, if anybody asks, Ferguson is the champ of the 155 division right now.”
There’s no question that officially speaking, McGregor is the champ, since he defeated the man who was legitimately holding the belt (Alvarez). But, you can understand why some believe Ferguson’s interim belt in fact means more, since he’s defeated several top contenders at 155.
Hopefully, as Dunham alluded to, McGregor – Ferguson gets booked next, rather than McGregor – Diaz III. The Irish star has already said that a rubber match with Diaz should be contested at 155 pounds. So, if McGregor intends to compete at that weight, it should be against Ferguson in a title, unification bout.
Dunham, meanwhile, is coming off a draw with Beneil Dariush, and the lightweight has gone undefeated now in five straight, bouts.