UFC lightweight title contender Tony Ferguson took the classy way out when when he reacted to his anticipated UFC 209 interim title fight against undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov being called off last Friday.
However, that doesn’t mean “El Cucuy” is going to angle for a fourth attempt to fight the oft-injured “Eagle.” Ferguson told TMZ Sports he believes he will be next in line for the Holy Grail of MMA bouts, a sure to be massive lightweight championship fight against champ Conor McGregor:
“Conor’s next. I hear he might be next. There’s nobody else in line, buddy. I just want to fight. I’m ready to go.”
Ferguson has a strong point when he suggested there’s “no one else in line” in terms of true lightweight rank, as the promotion will almost certainly be hesitant to book Nurmagomedov in a high-profile title fight anytime soon after his latest pullout.
Where “El Cucuy” is a bit off base is suggesting he’s the only man in line for McGregor, as “The Notorious” is of course aiming for the huge payday of his oft-rumored boxing super fight with Floyd Mayweather.
It seems a mere eventuality, but that’s keeping McGregor out of the octagon, where several more high-profile fights with names like Tyron Woodley, Georges St-Pierre, a trilogy match with Nate Diaz, or even his brother Nick Diaz all provide tantalizing potential and would arguably each outgross a McGregor-Ferguson lightweight title match-up.
With that the case, Ferguson left the door open for quite possibly not facing McGregor next, adding that he does not care whom he fights:
“It doesn’t matter man. We’ll see what they say.”
What will the UFC say? They may not have much of one if the brash Irish megastar is truly holding out for the mega-payday that comes along with facing an undefeated once-in-a-generation star like Mayweather.
And if he does get a check worth between $50 to $200 million, what incentive would McGregor have to ever return to the UFC?