Earlier this month, reports began to surface that Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson would be fighting for the interim UFC lightweight champion. The pair traded barbs on social media, with both men stating that the ball was in the other’s court. Ultimately, Ferguson revealed that he would be holding out for more money from the UFC. Subsequently, talks began to die down as Ferguson’s name was no longer mentioned in talks of an interim lightweight title fight. Instead, reports began to surface that Jose Aldo could be involved in the fight, and so could Nate Diaz.
Recently however, UFC President Dana White stated that Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor could very well be the first lightweight title defense in McGregor, with the promotion looking to host the fight in Russia.
In a pre-UFC 207 media scrum, UFC President Dana White revealed the reason the promotion was unable to book the Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson fight:
Dana White says Tony Ferguson agreed to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov but only for exactly what Khabib makes. Says "that ain't happening."
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) December 28, 2016
While after UFC 205, McGregor stated that he wouldn’t be fighting until his firstborn child was born in May, with UFC President Dana White stating that McGregor would be taking 10 months off from fighting.
Last week however, McGregor himself released an interview, in which he stated that he very well could be returning to the Octagon sooner rather than later, and that his ‘break’ could very well be a ‘Christmas Break’.
Following that, was when UFC President Dana White stated that McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov could be the next fight for the lightweight champ. With that being said, White stated that the fight could likely take place in Nurmagomedov’s home-country of Russia.
Only time will tell if the UFC and Ferguson are able to reach an agreement. Stay tuned for updates on this situation as they become available.