Tony Ferguson has repeatedly punted the idea that Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz should fight for a third time, but another of the UFC’s top lightweights, Khabib Nurmagomedov, is pushing for the fight. How’s that you ask?
Before McGregor’s loss to Floyd Mayeather in August, there was considerable talk about what MMA fight would be next for the lightweight champ. Then, after he was stopped by the undefeated boxer, the consensus was that McGregor – Diaz III would be booked, since it’s a fight a lot of folks want to see. McGregor’s head coach, John Kavanagh, and other members of his camp, have also called for a rubber match.
But, now that Ferguson has defeated Kevin Lee, and holds the interim 155 belt, there seems to be a lot of buzz about him fighting McGregor. Dana White has also gone on the record, and said that fight needs to happen. So what about Nurmagomedov?
Well, the undefeated fighter was a guest on the latest MMA Hour, and the galaxy class grappler made this interesting comments (quote via MMA Fighting):
“We have almost 12 weeks, 11 weeks before UFC 219,” Nurmagomedov said. “And now is the beginning a very interesting moment in my life. I hope UFC gives me a championship fight. End of the year, I want to take everything back. Attention, belts; I want to take everything. End of the year, I want to fix everything. And we’ll see what happens. But first of all, I think UFC has to make the fight, Conor versus Nate Diaz 3, and after, me and Tony.
“Because, my opinion, I think Tony Ferguson is the real champion. That’s why. I don’t think, if I fight versus Tony Ferguson, this is an interim belt. Officially, yes. But people want to see me versus Tony Ferguson. I think this is a much better fight, for everything. If I beat Tony Ferguson and take the interim championship belt — Conor’s the official champion, but he’s not the people’s champion.”
That’s a pretty intriguing take no? While there’s no doubt that a lot of people want to see Ferguson – Nurmagomedov, after three previous bookings have fallen through, it would be pretty surprising if that’s the route the UFC goes. Booking bouts for both the interim and current champ? And not against each other? When both men are ready to fight?
Although, with everything that’s gone down in the last year or so, anything’s possible.