The UFC lightweight division appears to now be experiencing even more turmoil than it had been.
Undisputed divisional champion Conor McGregor hasn’t defended his title since winning it via second-round knockout against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in November 2016, instead electing to chase and eventually land an August 2017 boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. Now, it’s unclear whether or not he’ll ever return to the Octagon.
In McGregor’s absence, the UFC implemented an interim 155-pound title, which was won by Tony Ferguson at UFC 216 this past October. The promotion was hoping to book a bout between McGregor and Ferguson for early 2018, but it now appears as if that won’t be happening, and not only due to McGregor’s absence.
According to a recent Instagram post, Ferguson underwent elbow surgery, making a timetable for his return unclear:
Despite the stagnant nature of the division’s two titles, lightweight contenders have continued to lineup.
Alvarez recently bounced back with a win over Justin Gaethje, and longtime top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov is set to make his return against Edson Barboza at UFC 219 on Dec. 30. Either man could make a case for a title shot with a victory.
There’s also Nate Diaz, who’ll likely only return for a trilogy bout with McGregor.
How do you think the UFC should handle one of its premier divisions?