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13th Dec 2016

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson have torn into each other on Twitter

We're thinking March 2017

Patrick McCarry

While the champ is away…

Conor McGregor is off enjoying his time away from the UFC after 12 months that included three victories, one defeat, one retirement, one comeback, two titles and a whole lot of cheese.

Having been forced to give up his featherweight belt, McGregor is now officially listed as the UFC lightweight champion. Dana White, the promotion’s president, does not expect ‘The Notorious’ back until next summer when, all things going well, he will be a first-time father.

That leaves the 155lbs division with some jostling for the No.1 contender slot, to claim a shot at McGregor – and all the money that fight entails – upon his return.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is listed as No.1 contender by the UFC but Tony Ferguson, who most recently smote Rafael Dos Anjos, is right on his heels. While the champion is off on leave, the pair tore into each other on Twitter and whet the appetite for a 2017 bout.

Nurmagomedov started by claiming Ferguson was holding out on signing a bout agreement before Ferguson reminded him that he had pulled out of a scheduled fight in January 2015. It escalated from there.

Ferguson was then daubed as a fan-boy for asking Nurmagomedov to hop in for a picture with him.

We suspect that the next time the pair are pictured together they will be staring each other down with a fight date set.

Once both men pen bout agreements, this will be one of 2017’s most anticipated fights.