Roddy: Conor-Ferguson Most Logical Fight
There have been 11 pay per view events since Conor McGregor won the lightweight title last year at UFC 205. Since McGregor’s win inside Madison Square Garden, the division has been in a state of upheaval. For McGregor it has been a year of celebration and star making, first extended hiatus to celebrate the birth of his first child, and then took a detour to professional boxing for a money fight with Floyd Mayweather.
While McGregor celebrated and made millions boing, the lightweight division became a logjam with a backlog of contenders waiting for their shot at the title. Tony Ferguson stepped up at UFC 216 and took control of the interim lightweight crown, and continued to call out the man he refers to as “McNugget.” Now after winning the interim lightweight title at UFC 216, it appears that Ferguson’s trash talk might just be getting him somewhere.
While recently as a guest on the Talking Brawls podcast, McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy suggested that Ferguson earned a shot at McGregor to do what Ferguson has implored since winning the title in Vegas, “unify.” Roddy claims that the hype that has been building around that fight means it is probably “not far off” from happening.
“When the word goes out like that and people start talking about it, it’s usually not far off of the deal being done. It could be a good one. Ferguson is the interim champion and rightfully so. He had a good performance against Lee and he’s had a lot of good performances.
“I’d like to see it. People, including myself, were talking about the Diaz fight, but who knows that may come again. But if it’s Ferguson, that’s going to be a cracker as well. I still see the same outcome. I still see Conor — if they’re standing for any sort of extended period on the feet, it’ll be a quick one and that’s it.
“He’s just not as tidy as Conor. You play the percentages, and Conor’s the cleaner, more refined striker. Ferguson is tough, he’s unorthodox, but in my opinion Conor’s just the superior striker, most definitely.”
Many believe that when McGregor returns to the octagon that it would be tie-breaking fight against Nate Diaz, as that’s where the money is. Yet, Ferguson’s impressive stoppage of Kevin Lee makes it hard to deny the interim champion.
Also muddying the water for a Diaz-McGregor III is Diaz demanding a high price for the trilogy, and UFC President Dana White seems invested in the idea of a title unification bout. White has maintained that Ferguson makes the most sense and Roddy agrees, saying that the Ferguson fight is gaining all the momentum and seems like the “logical” way to go right now.
“It’s an exciting fight isn’t it? He definitely brings problems and people are asking for it, that’s the most important thing. . . Obviously, money talks at the end of the day and whatever makes the most money is what both people would go for. But because people are asking for it and posting about it, that’s starting to gain the momentum that’s needed to get that big fight. It’s starting to build. It’ll be a good fight. It’ll definitely be a good fight.”
“If Conor wants to go at the end of the year, then we go straight into camp. He came back training last week, and got a couple of sessions in. He’s back in the gym after that whole whirlwind. I think it’d be great to let him get back training and enjoying training and take it from there but at the end of the day, whatever happens, happens. If we go into camp tomorrow, we go into camp tomorrow and we get it done.”