A lot of folks, including two of Conor McGregor’s coaches, have said they believe the Irish star should fight Nate Diaz next. But, it looks like his longtime buddy and teammate, Artem Lobov, isn’t on the same page.
Yes, even if you’re a casual MMA fan, you know that for months now, there’s been plenty of talk about who McGregor will face in the Octagon next. Many have argued that a rubber match with Diaz will be next for the lightweight champ, on account of how big a fight it is. McGregor’s head coach, John Kavanagh, has said he’d like to see McGregor – Diaz III go down on St. Patrick’s Day next year. The champ’s striking coach, Owen Roddy, has also made the case for a rubber match.
But, since Ferguson is now holding the interim lightweight title, it seems like more and more folks are leaning “El Cucuy’s” way, in terms of him fighting McGregor. Well, in advance of Lobov’s bout this Saturday with Andre Fili, the featherweight had this to say about the subject (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I think Tony is next,” Lobov said.
“The only reason why I say that is it was unclear who was next for the title shot. There was Khabib, there was Tony and then Kevin Lee stood up.
“In my head, Conor defends the belt against Tony,” said Lobov. “In the mean time, Khabib can fight the winner of Alvarez and Gaethje. Whoever wins that can be next.
“While all that takes place, we can throw Diaz in the mix there somewhere.”
Yup. There’s a lot of people, particularly hardcore fan and fight game purists, who are likely going to agree with Lobov here. At some point, the UFC has to address the rankings, the titles, and have McGregor compete the #1 challenger, which in this case is Ferguson.
As Lobov alluded to, and as many others have pointed out, the promotion can always do McGregor – Diaz III down the line.
Lobov – Fili, which could be an outstanding fight, will be part of UFC Fight Night 118 in Gdansk, Poland.