Everyone has been talking about it since UFC 216. Many prominent figures involved and not involved directly with Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson has said that the belts must be unified. The manager of both fighters has revealed he believes their confrontation is ‘inevitable’, that it is only a matter of time. According to McGregor himself, this may be sooner rather than later. He just dropped a bombshell that, not only does he feel Ferguson is next, but they are currently negotiating the contract.
“I’ve got everyone clawing at me, trying to get at me, and that’s from multiple sports, multiple organizations, multiple everything. It’s been like that for a long, long time, I feel, so it’s just another day for me. I know there are many contenders in the UFC. There are many boxing contenders as well. What interests me is certainly a UFC bout, certainly a defense of my lightweight title. There is a fighter with the interim lightweight belt. I feel that [Tony Ferguson] will be next. We’ll see how negotiations go.”
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) October 10, 2017
“The [Nate] Diaz trilogy is also there. I can defend my belt against Nate. Maybe we can persuade one of these boxing opponents to step into the Octagon, or there’s also boxing bouts as well. So, there’s so many options. I feel to legitimize the belt — there’s an interim champion, I’m the unified champion — I feel that will be next. We are currently in contract negotiations and we’ll see where it goes.” — Conor McGregor speaking to Entertainmentie.
If this comes to fruition, the UFC could already have the biggest fight of 2018 booked. This would put to rest the title defense criticisms that has haunted Conor McGregor’s accomplishments, with a successful victory of Tony Ferguson opening the door to a somewhat guilt-free fight with whoever he wants. Finishing out the trilogy with Nate Diaz at lightweight with the true undisputed lightweight title wrapped around his waist would only make that fight larger. We’ve learned not to hold our breath when it comes to a wildcard like McGregor, but the wheels are turning and the numbers are being crunched for the match-up.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/31/2017.