Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson Is The Right Fight To Make
Ever since UFC 229, the primary query followers and media have been asking is, “Who’s next for Khabib Nurmagomedov?” The undefeated Russian tapped out Conor McGregor in the principle occasion of the UFC’s biggest-selling pay-per-view ever earlier this month, and at this level we’re all nonetheless questioning who’s the subsequent opponent for Nurmagomedov, although we might have been given a touch to who it’s over the weekend.
In keeping with UFC president Dana White, the UFC isn’t angling for a rematch with Nurmagomedov towards McGregor. As a substitute, the promotion needs to ebook Nurmagomedov towards Tony Ferguson, who TKOed Anthony Pettis at UFC 229 to increase his profitable streak to 11 straight fights. Ferguson, who was stripped of the interim light-weight belt earlier this 12 months after getting injured throughout a pre-fight interview previous to UFC 223, ought to completely get the title shot based mostly on benefit. However everyone knows that cash talks on this sport, and that’s why McGregor has even been included within the dialog.
Ferguson’s 14-1 file within the UFC (17-1 in case you embrace his run on TUF 13) is totally distinctive. He has solely misplaced as soon as within the UFC, to Michael Johnson again in 2012 in a combat the place he broke his arm. He hasn’t misplaced since then, and has completed high-profile opponents together with Pettis, Edson Barboza and Kevin Lee, in addition to a choice win over former UFC light-weight champion Rafael dos Anjos. Ferguson is as deserving of a title shot as anybody within the 155lbs division proper now, and it could be a disgrace if he didn’t get the subsequent title shot as McGregor doesn’t deserve it in any respect.
The solely motive we’re even speaking about that is due to what occurred after UFC 229 was over. The combat between Nurmagomedov and McGregor was a mismatch for probably the most half because the Russian used his vaunted wrestling chops to take the Irishman down and dominate him on the mat for almost 20 minutes earlier than getting the tapout late within the fourth. However with Nurmagomedov leaping into the gang and attacking McGregor’s cornermen, and the ruckus it set off, that’s the explanation why anybody is even giving McGregor an opportunity to get the rematch. Clearly, UFC 229 did exceptionally effectively on PPV and a rematch would doubtless do nice numbers as effectively, however the UFC could be toeing a really harmful line between sport and leisure in the event that they didn’t give Ferguson the title shot after profitable 11 fights in a row.
In fact, there’s the “jinx” issue we’ve got to contemplate because the combat between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson has been cancelled 3 times already attributable to each males pulling out for numerous causes. That’s the principle motive why some are afraid to ebook the combat once more. For my part, this isn’t a sound motive to not make the combat once more. That’s only a stroke of unhealthy luck, and there’s no motive to suppose simply because this combat hasn’t gone by means of a number of occasions earlier than that it received’t this time. The UFC must ebook the combat once more and take a shot that nothing will occur to both competitor.
Whereas I loved watching Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor, and whereas I’d be open to a possible rematch down the highway, I can’t assist however suppose how compelling a combat between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson could be. These are the 2 finest lightweights on the earth proper now and each are coming off of spectacular wins at UFC 229 that ought to pit them towards one another. McGregor, as nice as he’s, can wait. Ferguson deserves the title shot, and Nurmagomedov ought to should combat him subsequent and never threaten to field Floyd Mayweather. In fact, we nonetheless want to attend to see what Nurmagomedov’s punishment from the Nevada State Athletic Fee will probably be, however when it comes out, Ferguson ought to be introduced as the subsequent opponent when Nurmagomedov is able to return.