Conor McGregor may want to get eating when he sees how much Tony Ferguson weighs
The time has come for Conor McGregor to finally defend a belt against a deserving challenger.
It appears to be a two-horse race for the next crack at Conor McGregor.
On one side you have a fighter who's 3-4 in his last seven fights, but Nate Diaz is in contention because of the two classic wars he's already had with 'the Notorious'. Considering his last two scraps were two of the biggest PPV draws in UFC history, it's safe to say that the Stockton native is the bankable Money Fight.
The other frontrunner is Tony Ferguson, who was crowned interim lightweight king against Kevin Lee at UFC 216. What 'El Cucuy' lacks in name recognition to casual fans, he makes up for with everything else. What he has done in the UFC's most populated division over the past four years has never been seen before. The 10-fight win-streak he is riding is a divisional record.
John Kavanagh may prefer to see McGregor complete the trilogy against Diaz in his next trip to the Octagon, but it looks like that's not what the majority of fight fans want. All the online polls suggest MMA fans agree with Dana White's assessment of the 155 lb title picture landscape. It's obvious to a blind man that McGregor vs Ferguson is the fight that needs to happen.
Another aspect of this storyline that often gets overlooked is that like McGregor, Ferguson is willing to fight anyone at any moment as long as he is healthy.
When Khabib Nurmagomedov pulled out of UFC 209's main event, Ferguson asked to fight Diaz and was willing to fight the only man to defeat him inside the Octagon, Michael Johnson, on ridiculously short notice. That fight never materialised because he was unwilling to take a pay cut and not fight for the interim strap. The one time he withdrew from fighting Khabib, he had fluid and blood in his lung.
Skip Bayless' account of Nate/Conor 1 is fucking absurd. Nate had at least 140 lbs on him pic.twitter.com/tRIgb3HnJ8
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) August 9, 2017
From what we've seen from McGregor's UFC tenure, lanky, durable fighters with good stand-up and elite jiu-jitsu are what cause him the most problems inside the Octagon. In this respect, Ferguson might just be just a better all-rounder than Diaz.
On the durability front, Ferguson has never been knocked out or TKO'd, whereas Diaz had been knocked out by Josh Thomson just two years before fighting 'the Notorious'. Seven of his last 10 fights have been submission victories which is four more than Diaz has managed in his last 10 bouts.
Ferguson is an inch shorter than Diaz, but has the exact same reach of 76 inches. While everyone was overselling how monstrously huge Diaz is compared to McGregor, Ferguson is even bigger if his activity on social media is to be believed. Two days after UFC 216, he sent out a photo suggesting he was weighing over 200 lbs.
Easy Boy pic.twitter.com/iJd71PSUr6
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) October 10, 2017
If Ferguson really put on 45 lbs in that short period of time, McGregor would want to start eating now.