The fact Tony Ferguson has to fight Kevin Lee at UFC 216 and risk losing his much-earned UFC lightweight opportunity is an utter tragedy. The fact Khabib Nurmagomedov is ranked above Ferguson is utter blasphemy.
Let me tell you why Tony Ferguson should not be fighting Kevin Lee, but rather Conor McGregor, and why Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmagomedov are unfairly being considered as the next UFC lightweight contender.
Since 2009, Tony Ferguson has lost one time (Michael Johnson). That is eight years! Ferguson is on a 9-fight win streak. He has finished six of those nine opponents, 3 of them via D’Arce choke. Ferguson has earned 6 Performance Bonuses in his last 5 fights, Fight of the Night in the last 3.
Is Tony Ferguson not fighting enough quality opponents?
Ferguson defeated Edson Barboza and Rafael Dos Anjos. The UFC has tried to put together a fight between him and Khabib, but has failed three times. Khabib pulling out two of those times. The UFC has tried to rebook Ferguson and Khabib UFC 216 and UFC 217, but Khabib has declined, per Sean Shelby. Nate Diaz will not fight Ferguson. Let’s be honest, Nate Diaz will not fight anyone other than Conor McGregor.
Who else does he need to beat to fight Conor? People will say Kevin Lee. Why does have to beat Lee, but Khabib and Nate Diaz do not, but are being equally considered as Conor McGregor’s next opponent?
Let’s take a look at Nate Diaz’s claim to fighting for the UFC Lightweight Championship
Nate is an exciting fighter, and has fought tough opponents. He has a win over Conor, and like Ferguson, his last 3 fights have been Fight of the Night.
I do give Nate major credit for coming in on short notice to fight Conor in their first fight.
But .. he did lose his last fight. Diaz has also lost 4 of his last 7. He missed weight 4 fights ago, and unlike Ferguson, has had an opportunity to fight for the title. Once December 1st of this year arrives, Nate Diaz will have fought 4 times in 4 years.
Now, let’s take a look at Khabib Nurmagomedov’s claim to fighting for the UFC lightweight championship
Khabib is 24-0, great record, but this is not where his resume is weak. Khabib has fought 3 times in the last 4 years!!
Khabib has officially missed weight one time, but many people count his last scheduled fight against Ferguson as Khabib missing weight, either way, Khabib pulled out.
There are many who are fanboys when it comes to exciting fights … Khabib has zero Performance Bonuses.
Yes, I realize you do not need a Performance Bonus for your fight to be declared exciting, but if I told there were two fighters, one who earned 6 Performance Bonuses in his last 5 fights, and one who earned 0, you would probably be able to guess was more exciting.
When we reach Dec. 1st of this year, as referenced with Nate Diaz, Tony Ferguson will have fought 9 times in the last 4 years, over double the amount of Nate Diaz, and triple the amount of Khabib! At that point, Tony Ferguson will have fought more times within a four year span than Khabib and Nate combined!
Out of Ferguson, Diaz, and Nurmagomedov, there is only one answer for who should be fighting Conor McGregor for the title: Tony Ferguson.
You want someone who wins? Tony Ferguson
… someone who wins against quality opponents? Tony Ferguson
… someone who finishes their opponents? Tony Ferguson
… someone who puts on exciting fights? Tony Ferguson
… someone who has not missed weight while in the UFC? Tony Ferguson
…. someone who fights consistently? Tony Ferguson
… someone who is a fresh new face and has not fought for the title? Tony Ferguson
Yes, Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmagomedov do fit some of those attributes, but not all of them. What more do you want from this guy? No, this is a serious question, what does Tony Ferguson need to do?
Tony Ferguson will be facing Kevin Lee at UFC 216 on Oct. 7, 2017. Lee is a formidable opponent, capable of halting Ferguson’s winning streak. It is a shame Ferguson has to fight Kevin Lee and risk losing his much-earned UFC lightweight title opportunity.