Khabib Nurmagomedov will defend his lightweight gold this weekend against Dustin Poirier. Despite who comes out on top after the fight, the consensus is clear on who will get the next title shot. And that is Tony Ferguson.
“Only Tony Ferguson,” Khabib Nurmagomedov said on the teleconference media call. “I think he deserves it. Who else is there? Nobody. Only Tony Ferguson, or nothing.”
Khabib won the vacant title after defeating Al Iaquinta back in April 2018. The undefeated Dagestani has defended his belt only once since then. And that was against arch rival Conor McGregor at UFC 229.
Dustin Poirier had the same frame of mind when he discussed his potential title defense during a prior media call for the September 7 event.
“One hundred percent it is Tony Ferguson without a second guess,” Poirier said when asked who the top contender was in the lightweight division. “Without any bargaining, it’s Tony Ferguson. No doubt.”
Poirier is riding a five winning streak and has been in the form of his life lately. In his last outing, he overcame the featherweight champ Max Holloway and became the interim champ at 155 pounds.
Tony Ferguson, on the other hand, has wins over almost all the notable names in the 155 pound division. His 12 fight winning streak includes wins over Abel Trujilo, Gleison Tibau, Edson Barboza, Lando Vannata, Kevin Lee, Anthony Pettis and most recently Donald Cerrone.
‘El Cucuy’ and Khabib have been slated to meet at several occasions before. However, due to some reason or the other the fight never planned out. UFC President Dana White went to the extent of saying that he wouldn’t ever book a fight between the two after the falling of their scheduled fight at UFC 223.