Now that Conor McGregor has (finally) relieved one division of his grasp, relinquishing his featherweight title to Jose Aldo, the now-former dual champion still has the lightweight contenders waiting for his return.
That’s because "Notorious" revealed he would be taking some time off in order to welcome his first child into the world after knocking out Eddie Alvarez and claiming the 155-pound title at UFC 205 a few weeks ago.
And that’s fine by top division contender Tony Ferguson, as he says he will give the mouthy Irishman a pass to enjoy his family, but reminds him that he didn’t take a leave of absence when his child was born. Instead, he manned up and took care of business.
That said, "El Cucuy" warned McGregor during a recent stop by The MMA Hour that as soon as he returns, he better be prepared to get wrecked.
"This is the fight game, I ain’t worried about no one that isn’t talking about me. That dude does not want any part of me. That dude got beat by number five in the world, Nate Diaz. Everybody is talking about him being the best. He got beat by number five, I’m number two and I am the only name that you haven’t thrown out there in the wind. It’s like a fart that’s going to come back at you. It’s going to hit you hard. Honestly, he doesn’t want any part of this. Like I said, go ahead, you get a little pass from me. Enjoy your family time, do your thing, enjoy your life. You have some money, go ahead, spend it, do your thing, relax, enjoy your time and try to find you. And while you’re doing that, I am going to be over here wrecking this shit, me and my crew. Then we’re going to go on to the next stage, when you come back, we’re going to wreck your ass. I’m going to stay here and be ready. When I had my baby I didn’t take a leave of absence. I manned up, did my thing and I fought. I’m just here doing what I had to do. I’m not responsible for anyone else besides me and my family."
Winner of nine straight, including his recent big win over Rafael dos Anjos, Ferguson says his next UFC fight needs to be a 155-pound championship fight. And when he wins said title fight, he intends to become the division’s longtime king and cement a legacy for the weight class.
Something he says the lightweight division has been missing for a long time.
"Yeah, it has to be. Give me a damn belt. I don’t want that 155-pound belt, they have to recycle that bitch. I’m glad Conor has that one because he can enjoy that as much as he wants to. I know fatherhood is a great thing, so I can appreciate that. Enjoy your time, do your thing, do whatever you got to do and when you come back, we will be ready for you. The 155-pound belt has had so many grubby hands on it. No one has secured a legacy for the 155-pound division. All the champions the guys way back then, the guys, you know, Georges St-Pierre at 170, we have 185 for Anderson Silva, we have B.J. Penn. Nobody has really secured it at 155 pounds for more than three years. There needs to be a real champion there, and that’s me."
Currently, the timetable for Conor’s return is May of 2017, which means if Ferguson wants to fight soon, it will have to be against someone else.
At the end of the day, Ferguson says belts "don’t mean shit to him" unless he’s the pound-for-pound best in the world, so he will likely have to take on the top contender at 155 pounds before he gets his chance at a fight against McGregor.
Which means a much-anticipated bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov could be on the horizon.
Get the latest gear
- 2023 Panini Prizm UFC Factory Sealed Retail Blaster Box
- 2023 Panini Select UFC Factory Sealed Retail Blaster Box
- Islam Makhachev Walkout Jersey
- UFC Fanatics Single Glove Display Case
- 2022 Panini Donruss Optic Retail Blaster Box
- 2023 Donruss UFC Retail Blaster Box
- Miesha Tate UFC Authentic Plaque
- Brock Lesnar WWE Home Sweet Home Collage