Former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson has long seemed destined to get his hands on Irish superstar Conor McGregor but has yet to secure the fight. The 36-year-old revealed to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani in a recent interview that he still desires to compete in massive fights in the future, and he named McGregor and fellow former interim champ Dustin Poirier as his top choices for next opponent.
“You want Conor, give me Conor. You want Poirier, we’ll make it happen, then we’ll fight for the winner of the Gaethje and Khabib fight,” Ferguson said.
Tony Ferguson Suffered Stunning Loss at UFC 249
Ferguson’s 12-fight win streak was snapped by Justin Gaethje at UFC 249.
What was supposed to have been Ferguson finally getting his hands on UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov ended with Ferguson missing out on that chance altogether because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the 155-pound champ Nurmagomedov couldn’t find a way out of Russia to fulfill his obligation to face Ferguson at UFC 249, Gaethje stepped into the fight on short notice and defeated Ferguson.
Now it seems the American is hoping to get back to a title shot as fast as possible and sees high-level matchups against McGregor or Poirier as the shortest paths there.
Either fight would be a massive showdown, though a fight featuring McGregor would have to be considered the premier option due to the 32-year-old’s ability to sell pay-per-views.
But, McGregor is technically retired while Poirier remains active as well as the division’s clear top contender.
On top of that, Poirier seemed ready and willing to make the fight happen upon seeing the idea come across his social media timeline.
What’s Next for Conor McGregor?
McGregor retired in June, but most pundits and UFC officials expect the 32-year-old to be back inside the Octagon again soon.
While McGregor has long coveted the rematch against Nurmagomedov, the Irishman’s only relevant recent win came against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at 170 pounds in January.
So while the superstar’s celebrity status and his litany of past successes have kept McGregor in the running for big fights, it’s also true that he hasn’t done much to deserve next crack at the 155-pound lightweight championship.
McGregor vs. Ferguson would be a massive fight for both. The two have long teased a showdown and have gone back and forth through the media but have never ended up inside the cage together.
For McGregor, facing Ferguson would give him the chance to prove he should get next crack at the Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje winner at UFC 255. It would do the same thing for Ferguson while also representing the biggest payday of his career.
Being the single biggest superstar in MMA, McGregor, of course, has plenty of great options in terms of his next outing.
Ferguson might not be the biggest, best or most likely opponent for McGregor’s next fight, but he’s absolutely a viable option.
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