With UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor currently on the sidelines counting his millions, the immediate future of interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson has recently been shrouded in mystery. The main uncertainty has been whether Ferguson will end up battling McGregor in a lightweight title unification bout, or defending his interim title against undefeated contender Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Whatever the case, it seems Tony Ferguson in the cusp of having a fight booked. On Saturday afternoon, the interim champ took to Twitter with a message that seemed to imply there’s major fight news on the horizon.
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) January 14, 2018
“True Champ Defends,” Ferguson said in an admittedly cryptic Tweet. “Back-2-work.”
While it’s still possible that Tony Ferguson will be booked for a massive, title-unifying showdown with Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov has posted similar messages on social media recently. The implication, then, is that we’re probably in for a Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov bout.
If Ferguson and Nurmagomedov do lock horns, the big question is whether or not it will be for the interim lightweight title, or if the UFC will strip the long absent McGregor and award the Ferguson-Nurmagomedov winner the undisputed title.
This latter option is the expectation of UFC color commentator Joe Rogan.
“Here’s my prediction: My prediction is Conor [McGregor] doesn’t fight for a while,” he said on a recent episode of his podcast. “They strip Conor. Tony [Ferguson] and Khabib [Nurmagomedov] fight for the [undisputed UFC lightweight] world title. […] What I believe is gonna happen is, Conor’s gonna vacate. I think they’re going to strip him.”
What do you think the future holds for Tony Ferguson?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/14/2018.