Conor McGregor Postulates His Next Fight Will Be With Tony Ferguson
Mixed martial arts fans have been waiting with bated breath all year to see who UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor will face when he finally makes his return to the UFC’s hallowed Octagon. McGregor has spent all of 2017 thus far inactive with regards to his mixed martial arts career, instead focussing on his professional boxing debut against veteran boxing legend Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
After knocking out Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in mid-November 2016, McGregor took some time off to await the birth of his first child. The majority of his public appearances would instead involve him pursuing the bout with Mayweather before the two finally came to terms in July and faced each other in the ring on August 26th.
Unfortunately, McGregor lost the bout by TKO in the tenth round after expending his energy in the early half of the fight. The referee was forced to call the fight to an end when he was no longer able to defend himself from the onslaught of shots his opponent Mayweather was landing.
In the meantime, many UFC lightweights attempted to solidify their chances at facing the Irish champion upon his return, with athletes Tony Ferguson, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Kevin Lee all vying for the opportunity. In the end, Ferguson would be the one to claim the title of interim lightweight champion after submitting Lee via triangle choke in the third round of their main event bout at UFC 216.
McGregor believes that Ferguson will now, indeed, be his next challenge. “I’ve got everyone clawing at me, trying to get at me, and that’s from multiple sports, multiple organizations, multiple everything,” McGregor said in an interview with MMAFighting.
“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 defence of my lightweight title. There is a fighter with the interim lightweight belt. I feel that will be next. We’ll see how negotiations go.”
McGregor also has unfinished business with lightweight star Nate Diaz, who is the only man to have finished him in the UFC. While the Irishman was able to get a decision win of his own over Diaz at UFC 202, many believe the two will face each other once more to decide who is the better mixed martial artist.
“The Diaz trilogy is also there,” McGregor said. “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.”
Do you think McGregor will face Diaz next, or will he defend his lightweight strap against Ferguson? Let us know in the comments!