After Khabib Nurmagomedov walked right through Edson Barboza last night (Sat., Dec. 30, 2017) at UFC 219 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the question regarding who he would take on next surfaced.
There is always Conor McGregor, but he won’t defend his Lightweight title until next summer, leaving interim champion Tony Ferguson as the only viable option. If you ask “The Eagle,” Ferguson is the fight to make, as he considers “El Cucuy” to be the real 155-pound champion, not Conor.
“Conor need to deserve this. The real belt is 25-0, this is a real belt. To be honest, I think real belt is Tony Ferguson,” proclaimed Khabib during the post-fight presser (see it again here). “Conor, he had only one fight in UFC at 155 and he champion. He beat old Eddie Alvarez,” he added.
To hear Khabib tell it, he’s not completely diminishing “Notorious’s” legitimacy as a good fighter, solely as a champ.
“He’s a good fighter, but he is not champion. He is a good fighter but I think a lot of people can beat him at 155 pounds,” he said. “This is my opinion. He has good boxing, timing, but he don’t have wrestling, he don’t have conditioning, but he has a real belt? This is not about him because UFC wants this. He come to lightweight and fight one time and he’s champion. This is a little bit crazy I think,” concluded “The Eagle.”
Some seem to think Conor may now even extend his vacation after watching Khabib’s dominant performance.
As for Ferguson, the promotion has tried to book a bout against Khabib three times now, but injuries and weight issues have scratched the fight on all occasions. But now that “The Eagle” has his medical issues in the rear-view mirror, it would behoove the promotion to move forward with this title fight as soon as possible.
For complete UFC 219 results and coverage click here.