Ferguson Still Claims Stake To Lightweight Title
Heading into UFC 223, it seemed that there would finally be some clarity in the UFC’s lightweight division, but following the events of last week, it feels that the division is still in a state of uncertainty.
It began on March 20th, when Tony Ferguson would tear ligaments in his knee while performing media obligations for his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Following the shocking news that for the fourth time, a fight between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov wasn’t happening, Max Holloway was put into the spot of challenging for the lightweight title.
While Dana White made it clear that Holloway and Khabib would be fighting for the undisputed title, Ferguson still laid claim to the promotions’ “interim” crown, which he won against Kevin Lee in late 2017. White initially said that Ferguson was stripped of the belt, then backtracked on that statement a few days later.
Adding to all of this was the Conor McGregor situation, where he was still technically lightweight champion, and taunted the UFC on Twitter that “youll’s strip me of nothing you do nothing *****.”
Then came the hand truck, Max Holloway being pulled from the UFC 223 main event by the New York State Athletic Commission, negotiations breaking down with Anthony Pettis, and then Al Iaquinta stepping in with a little over till 24 hours until UFC 223.
Then once again the New York State Athletic Commission claimed that since Iaquinta was over the lightweight limit by less than half a pound, they would refuse to sanction it as a championship fight.
White claimed that no matter what happened, the winner of the UFC 223 main event would be lightweight champion, which would be Nurmagomedov in a statement making unanimous decision victory.
The new champion’s team was not happy with the Russian fighter’s performance, someone who was also unimpressed was Tony Ferguson, who after UFC 223 posted this message to Nurmagomedov.
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) April 8, 2018
While Dana White said that he would refuse to book Ferguson and Nurmagomedov for the fifth time, Khabib is open to it, if Ferguson earned it…
“I keep wanting this fight to be honest, but you guys remember when I pull out the last time at UFC 209, you guys remember this, and UFC tell me ‘you want to deserve title shot, you have to fight, you have to fight with some tough guy,’” Khabib said in his post-fight presser.
Original Story: Bloody Elbow