There is no division in the UFC that is as talent heavy at the top as the lightweight division. The top five guys in the division all rank within the top fifteen in the promotions pound-for-pound rankings.
Two of the guys at the very top are former interim UFC champions, Tony Ferguson (25-4) and Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC).
Ferguson is coming off of a loss to Justin Gaethje for the interim title back at UFC 249 in May. Prior to that loss, Ferguson had a 12 fight winning streak that dated back to 2013.
Since the loss where Ferguson took a lot of damage, many were wondering what would be next for Ferguson. Ferguson laid out what he thinks the plan should be moving forward to ESPN.
“El Cucuy” lays out the options for his return ???
(via @arielhelwani) pic.twitter.com/HT4NkL9Xeq
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 29, 2020
Battle of two of the UFC’s best
I love what Ferguson is thinking, but realistically, I only see one of these being an option for his next UFC fight. I think the only fight that Conor McGregor will take next is a fight for the title.
With that being said, it leaves The Diamond. Poirier is coming off of an insane victory in a war with Dan Hooker back in June. Poirier is 6-1, 1 NC in his last eight fights. He holds a victory over current interim champion, Justin Gaethje.
These top UFC lightweights would make for a perfect matchup. If they were to fight, the winner would make a very clear number one contender for the winner of Khabib – Gaethje.
Of course, there are a few hurdles in the way of that. The hurdles being Conor McGregor and Georges St. Pierre. The UFC lightweight champion, Nurmagomedov, wants to supposedly retire 30-0 meaning he’d only fight two more times.
If Khabib defeats Gaethje, he said that he wants to fight GSP next year in his final fight. This is a fight the UFC is open to. The promotion will also likely try to push for a McGregor rematch given the magnitude of that fight.
Those hurdles will create a massive headache and problem for Ferguson and Poirier. These two men would be the most deserving of a shot at the title, but will likely be in limbo if Nurmagomedov wins in October.
Regardless, this is the fight that the UFC needs to put together. It makes sense from a rankings perspective, and I mean who wouldn’t want to see these two throw down?