This week, it was announced that top ranked lightweights Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson would be stepping into the Octagon in the co-main event of UFC 209 on March 4th to compete for the interim UFC lightweight championship.
The fight had been in the works for quite some time after UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor revealed following his UFC 205 win over Eddie Alvarez that he would be taking some time off from fighting due to the upcoming birth of his firstborn child. While both Nurmagomedov and Ferguson appeared to be on-board for an interim lightweight title scrap, Ferguson then backtracked, demanding that the UFC give him the same money Nurmagomedov would be getting.
When UFC President Dana White assured ‘El Cucuy’ that he would not be receiving the same money as ‘The Eagle’ it looked as though hope for the bout was lost. Ultimately however, after a period of much uncertainty, it was confirmed that Nurmagomedov and Ferguson would be throwing down in March.
Shortly after the fight was announced, SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh took to Twitter to give his initial reaction to the bout via a meme:
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) January 13, 2017
McGregor of course has teased returning to the Octagon sooner than May, stating that his ‘break’ simply could have been a break for the Holidays. However with Nurmagomedov and Ferguson now set to fight, it is unlikely that the Irish superstar will make his return to the Octagon early.
So far no word yet on what McGregor thinks of the interim lightweight title fight at UFC 209, however if headlines are any indication, the ‘champ champ’ is likely preoccupied with the idea of a potential boxing superfight with undefeated prizefighter Floyd Mayweather, who recently offered McGregor $15 million to throw down in the boxing ring.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on [1/13/2017]