Last month, in the main event of UFC 205, Irish superstar Conor McGregor knocked out Eddie Alvarez to become the UFC lightweight champion. Following the win, the Irishman reaffirmed his intention to take some time off to start a family with long-time girlfriend Dee Devlin.
McGregor’s hiatus from competition, of course, leaves the lightweight division’s many contenders in a bit of an undesirable spot, without a champion to gun for. The champ’s absence is undoubtedly most frustrating for Tony Ferguson, who is currently on a nine-fight win-streak, and Khabib Nurmagomedov, who boasts a flawless, 24-0 record. Both men have done pretty much all their is to do to earn a lightweight title shot, but without an active champ, neither can have one.
The obvious solution, of course, is to pit them together in McGregor’s stead – perhaps even for an interim title.
On the most recent episode of Submission Radio, Ferguson said he was all for this plan. He also added that he’d like to coach The Ultimate Fighter against Nurmagomedov to build up this possible interim title fight.
“The fans want the fight. People are blowing it up. They know Conor’s out. They know Khabib needs a fight. They know that Khabib and I were supposed to fight in January but that dude backed out. He had some boo boos he had to take care of. That’s okay, go back to [American Kickboxing Academy” and heal your boo boos with Daniel Cormier.”
“I’m ready to sign on the dotted line and I think the UFC knows that. And I think it needs to be for that [interim] belt. I don’t think, it needs to be for that belt, damn it. Straight up, I’ve been putting in my time, I’ve been putting in my numbers. This is my time. Let’s get some heat going for this thing. Let’s do this for The Ultimate Fighter. We can do Team Khabib versus Team Ferguson, that’d be dope.
“Let’s just throw it up for an interim belt. If [McGregor’s] gonna take a step out for a while then they need to throw an interim belt out there, have a champ out there and when he comes back he can be ready for that ass whooping which will be me.”
What do you think of Ferguson and Nurmagomedov coaching against each other on The Ultimate Fighter and then fighting for the interim belt? Sound off, PENN Nation!