Tony Ferguson has been sidelined as of late due to personal problems, but the streaking lightweight contender recently Tweeted he is back and ready to fight again. Furthermore, the 35-year-old, along with his new management, recently met with the UFC brass to discuss his future.
So, now the question is, who should ‘El Cucuy’ fight when he returns to the Octagon?
Here are three potential fights that make the most sense.
Tony Ferguson has been calling out “McNuggets” ever since the Irishman won the lightweight belt. However, the fight between Ferguson and Conor McGregor has never come to fruition.
If McGregor hopes to get a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov, he may need to earn it by beating another top contender first. A fight with Tony Ferguson would give him that opportunity. The winner would no doubt become the top contender and fight the winner of Nurmagomedov vs. Poirier which is expected to take place in September.
For Ferguson, it is the perfect fight, as a win over McGregor will get him the title shot and will make him a bigger star. It would also lead to more money for Ferguson, and a chance to remind that he’s one of the best fighters in the world.
If McGregor doesn’t return, which is certainly possible, a fight against Donald Cerrone makes a ton of sense for Tony Ferguson. “Cowboy” is coming off of a decision win over Al Iaquinta and is now ranked fourth in the lightweight division.
Cerrone vs. Ferguson could be a Fight Night main event, or high up on a pay-per-view card sometime this summer or fall. Ultimately, McGregor would be the first option, but if that fight can’t happen, Ferguson vs. Cerrone makes too much sense not to happen.
Who wouldn’t want to see Justin Gaethje fight Tony Ferguson? Both are fan favorites and have exciting styles. Gaethje has knockout power, and it would be interesting to see if Gaethje’s wrestling can negate Ferguson’s jiu-jitsu and takedown attempts.
The way this fight gets booked is if McGregor returns to fight Donald Cerrone, leaving Gaethje and Ferguson as the two top lightweights without opponents.
All this to say Ferguson has options for his return fight. Yet his return to action might just add more uncertainty to the complicated lightweight contendership picture.
Who do you think Tony Ferguson should fight in his return to the Octagon?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/10/2019.