Expect some major changes to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight title picture, starting with the UFC 238 pay-per-view (PPV) event this weekend in the “Windy City” and ending with UFC 242 this September in Abu Dhabi.
No. 2-ranked Tony Ferguson will risk his spot in line against No. 4-ranked Donald Cerrone on Sat. night (June 8, 2019) inside United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The winner may be next in line for the unified title, decided when Khabib Nurmagomedov defends his 155-pound strap against interim champion, Dustin Poirier.
No. 3-ranked Conor McGregor, who previously ruled the lightweight roost before getting stripped — then subbed — over the last year, decides he wants another crack at Nurmagomedov. “Notorious” fell to “The Eagle” at UFC 229 last October.
“Conor wants the rematch with Khabib,” UFC president Dana White told ESPN’s SportsCenter (via MMA Fighting). “All these guys have been fighting, again, this thing’s going to play out this weekend and then Sept. 7 in Abu Dhabi, and then we’ll figure out what’s next for Conor. I absolutely could [see a rematch].”
I can’t imagine that fight makes sense if Poirier upsets the lightweight apple cart at UFC 242, because “The Diamond” was handily defeated by McGregor when they went to war in the featherweight division back in 2014.
Like it or not, McGregor still gets to pick and choose when and where he fights because until proven otherwise, the power-punching Irishman remains the biggest PPV draw in the sport, even with the abrupt (and “insane”) end of the “superstar era.”
I guess we won’t find out until later this fall.