Since Saturday’s massive bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor, and the very unfortunate, post fight brawl, there’s been no shortage of talk about the two fighting again. But, recently, and thankfully, Dana White made sure to throw Tony Ferguson’s name into the mix.
Within minutes of Nurmagomedov’s submission win over McGregor, and the ugly, post-fight melee,talk about a rematch started making the rounds via social media. In the preceding days this has continued, and it seems like in mainstream, media circles, questions about a rematch have been more prevalent.
Well, White talked with “First Take” on Monday, and while doing so, he reported McGregor has already asked for a rematch. In addition, however, White had this to say, while discussing the possibility of Nurmagomedov – McGregor 2 (quotes via ESPN):
“[Nurmagomedov] has to go before the Nevada commission, and we have to see what’s going to happen with Khabib and this whole mess,” White said. “But Conor McGregor has already called me, wanting a rematch.
“That’s what Conor has asked for. We’ll see what happens with Khabib and what’s next. Tony Ferguson looked amazing. Those two have been lined up three different times to fight and it hasn’t happened. We’ll see how things play out.”
There’s a couple of things to discuss here. First off, if not for the post-fight brawl, would there really be much talk about Khabib and Conor fighting again? Chances are the latter would have asked for a rematch, regardless of the incident afterwards. But would this be a topic of conversation in the media? And amongst fans? Probably not.
While McGregor became the first man to win a round from Nurmagomedov, the fight wasn’t very close. After winning the first round, Khabib outstruck Conor by a 41-5 margin in round two, and while he lost round three, he proceeded to submit the star in round four. At no point, did the lightweight champ appeared to be in any real danger. So, if we put aside the fact, yes, a rematch would generate a ton of cash, can anyone make a meritocratically sound argument that Conor should fight for the title next? A guy, let’s remember, who despite his incredible talents, never defended the lightweight title once?
Then, of course, we have to factor Ferguson in here. The former interim champ was dropped by Anthony Pettis in the UFC 229 co-headliner, but, “El Cucuy” battered and bloodied “Showtime”, en route to a stoppage win. With the victory, Ferguson moved his winning streak to 11, and he’s also defeated Kevin Lee, Edson Barboza and Rafael dos Anjos during that time. If that’s not a legitimate case for a title shot, what is?
So, we don’t know what’s going to happen, and there’s certainly a chance that if Khabib is available to fight, and he agrees to another bout with McGregor (and that’s probably a big if), then the UFC could go this route. But, thankfully White has injected Ferguson’s name into the narrative here, as Khabib – Ferguson is really the bout that needs to happen.