Former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson sent a message of intent earlier this week as he sounded off on UFC 254 main eventers Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje. While ‘El Cucuy’ clearly still has his eyes on lightweight gold he also hinted that a move up to welterweight could be very much on the cards.
So, we at LowKickMMA the home of live MMA results and news decided to look at who is likely next for Ferguson. Check out the list of fighters below and let us know who you think Ferguson is most likely to fight in the comments.
Conor McGregor: UFC superstar Conor McGregor is currently retired but one glance at the Irish fighter’s social media tells you he is itching to get back. In recent weeks he has been linked to a boxing bout with Manny Pacquaio and a return to the Octagon against Dustin Poirier. A fight between McGregor and Ferguson seems a way off right now but things move quickly in the world of combat sports so don’t be too surprised if we see ‘El Cucuy’ getting that ‘Red Panty Night’ when he returns.
Dustin Poirier: ‘The Diamond’ looked set to be the man to welcome Ferguson back. Dustin Poirier was supposed to square off against the 36-year-old at UFC 254 later this month, but the fight fell through due to financial issues. Both men seemed to be supporting each other publicly – for a while. Most recently, Ferguson blasted Poirier for actively pursuing a rematch with McGregor. The hype around this fight may have died down right now but make no mistake, Poirier is who we are likely to see Ferguson face next.
Dan Hooker: Dan Hooker is basically the best of the rest at lightweight – and we say that with all due respect. The UFC may opt to match him up against Ferguson, mainly due to the fact it’s a fight that would be an all-out war for as long as it lasts. Both men are known for letting it all hang out on the feet and if McGregor vs. Poirier II does actually come to fruition a fight against Hooker may be the best available option.
Michael Chandler: The latest addition to the 155lb UFC division is a decent option and one we think the promotion’s matchmakers would be keen on. It’s common knowledge that Ferguson was offered a fight against Michael Chandler at UFC 254 after Poirier dropped out. The thing that will likely stand in the way is unfortunately finances. Ferguson refused to take that fight largely due to the fact Chandler would be earning more money despite this being the former Bellator champions’ promotional debut. I do think this is a bigger hurdle than many may think. Ferguson is a man of pride and he won’t take kindly to what he sees as disrespect from the UFC if they insist on paying him less than Chandler who is undoubtedly not the in the same league as ‘El Cucuy’ when it comes to pulling power.
Nick Diaz: Ferguson mentioned him in his most recent interview with Ariel Helwani so we have to as well – Nick Diaz. The former Strikeforce welterweight champion and UFC contender recently announced he is set to return to the sport. Since then pretty much everyone at 170 and 185lbs have been calling out the fan favourite. Ferguson may be the biggest name to do so yet. It’s certainly a fight that would excite MMA hardcore while also appealing to the wider public. Diaz-Ferguson may be a long shot, but someone has got to welcome the Stockton, California native back to the Octagon – why not the former interim lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson?
Who do you want to see Tony Ferguson fight next?