If the UFC ends up having Tony Ferguson fight Khabib Nurmagomedov next, it sounds like they may need to strip Conor McGregor of the lightweight title first…
It’s still unclear as to when McGregor will return to the Octagon, but recently Dana White said the star needs to do so before the fall, if he plans to defend the 155 belt. The UFC President has also floated the idea of having Ferguson defend the interim belt against Nurmagmoedov in the meantime.
Well, recently MMA Fighting spoke with Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, and he had this to say about that possibility:
“Khabib’s next fight, we’re not fighting for no damn interim belt,” Abdelaziz said. “We want the real belt, or we don’t want nothing. We appreciate everything the UFC has done for us, but it’s time for a real belt. Nobody is interested in fighting for a fake belt. Tony Ferguson has a fake belt. Nobody wants this.”
Now, ultimately this decision will be up to Nurmagomedov, in terms of fighting for an interim belt, but, clearly the pressure’s mounting on McGregor to make a decision. The Irish fighter hasn’t fought in the cage since November, 2016, when he stopped Eddie Alvarez.