We know that UFC megastar Conor McGregor is hoping for an immediate title shot when he returns to the Octagon. He wants the winner of UFC 242’s Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier, but it doesn’t look like he’ll get it, at least not just yet.
Speaking to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, UFC president Dana White confirmed that although McGregor wants to fight the winner of Nurmagomedov vs. Poirier, the Irish star is behind Tony Ferguson when it comes to getting the next lightweight title shot.
“Ferguson is the one who’s next in line,” White said. “Then it would be Conor.”
According to White, the UFC is going by the rankings when it comes to naming the next No. 1 contender at 155lbs. Currently, the No. 1 contender is Poirier, who is getting the next title shot. The No. 2 contender is Ferguson, who White says is next in line after Poirier. Then No. 3 is Conor McGregor. Despite the fact that McGregor hasn’t won an MMA fight since November 2016 over Eddie Alvarez, White says the UFC is going by the rankings, and that’s why McGregor is still in the title conversation.
“Right now, that’s where he’s ranked,” White said.
At this point, McGregor just needs to fight. He hasn’t competed since an October 2018 submission loss to Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 and has taken all of 2019 off so far. He boxed Floyd Mayweather in 2017, but hasn’t fought more than one MMA fight in a year since back in 2016. That was a long time ago. Ferguson, meanwhile, is riding a 12-fight win streak, the longest in UFC lightweight division history.
Still, Conor McGregor remains a massive star and big name in the sport and that’s why White continues to keep his name in the conversation of title contenders, even though his recent record is not exactly indicative of someone who deserves to fight for the belt anytime soon.
Who do you think deserves the next lightweight title shot more, Conor McGregor or Tony Ferguson?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/29/2019.