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UFC should book Tony Ferguson vs Dustin Poirier to determine the #1 contender for the Lightweight Championship (Opinion)

UFC 249 Ferguson v GaethjeEnter caption UFC 249 Ferguson v Gaethje
UFC 249 Ferguson v GaethjeEnter caption UFC 249 Ferguson v Gaethje
Nickki Ciao
ANALYST
Modified 10 Aug 2020, 17:54 IST
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Tony Ferguson was scheduled to take on Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 249. However, due to travel restriction in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the bout fell apart after Khabib Nurmagomedov was unable to travel down to the U.S to compete.

Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje accepted to fight on short notice for the interim UFC Lightweight Championship. Gaethje put up an incredible performance against Ferguson and picked up a TKO victory in the fifth round to grab the interim gold. Gaethje is scheduled to take on Khabib Nurmagomedov in a unification bout at UFC 254.

Dustin Poirier put up an impeccable performance over top contender Dan Hooker in what was a Fight of the Year contender. Poirier picked up an impressive unanimous decision win, returning with an impressive victory after championship loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242.

What's next for Tony Ferguson?

UFC 249 Ferguson v Gaethje
UFC 249 Ferguson v Gaethje

Tony Ferguson is currently recovering from his bout in April where he absorbed a lot of damage from someone as dangerous as Justin Gaethje. However, recently he called out both Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor for a fight. Ferguson is ranked #3 in the UFC Lightweight rankings, while Dustin Poirier is at #2. Despite not being active in the Lightweight division for almost a year, Conor McGregor is currently ranked #4 in the rankings. Dan Hooker, who suffered a unanimous decision loss against Dustin Poirier is ranked #5, followed by Paul Felder and Diego Ferriera.

In reply to a tweet from a fan, Dustin Poirier replied, "The bad boy with the allow" while answering who he would like to face next between Tony Ferguson and Conor McGregor. Ferguson has often posted videos on social media where he can be seen elbowing metal as part of the training. It was in reference to Tony Ferguson and is the right path for the Lightweight division going forward.

It makes sense for Tony Ferguson to call out Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor. However, Conor McGregor recently announced his retirement from MMA, while Dana White also claimed that McGregor will not fight in 2020.

It leaves Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson, and evidently, the winner of this match deserves a shot at the title belt. Ferguson was on a 12 fight win-streak, before losing to Justin Gaethje. Poirier remained unbeaten against former champions like Eddie Alvarez, and Max Holloway and has notable victories over Justin Gaethje and Anthony Pettis. Poirier also put up an impressive performance against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 and has shown interest in a rematch.

With both the fighters without an opponent and Conor McGregor out with retirement, it only makes sense for UFC to book Tony Ferguson vs Dustin Poirier for the #1 contender's match for the UFC Lightweight Championship.

Published 10 Aug 2020, 03:55 IST
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