Tony Ferguson's much-awaited return to the octagon hangs in balance after Dustin Poirier revealed that he won't be fighting El Cucuy at UFC 254. In the events that followed, Ferguson took to Twitter to urge UFC President Dana White to "pay the man," following which Poirier tweeted, "Violence, Let's go Tony."
However, as of right now, there has been no official confirmation and if we are to believe White's recent comments, UFC is already looking at a new opponent for Tony Ferguson.
In a scenario where Tony Ferguson vs Dustin Poirier may not happen, who should Ferguson fight next? While Khabib Nurmagomedov has already stated that he would fight any fighter who can get past Dustin Poirier, there's a reason to believe that Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson could be a likely possibility if the former interim Champion can get past his next opponent.
While there are many exciting options for Ferguson, only a few match-ups make sense for Ferguson to be handed the title shot after the victory.
Who should Tony Ferguson fight next?
Tony Ferguson is coming off a brutal TKO loss against Justin Gaethje and will look to cement his place once again with a win in his next fight. The lightweight division is stacked with incredible strikers and there won't be much difficulty in determining the next ideal opponent for Tony Ferguson.
Tony Ferguson vs Charles Oliveira could have been an interesting match-up, however, Oliveira pulled out of his scheduled bout due to undisclosed reasons and it remains to be seen when he will be back in action. With Diego Ferreira scheduled to take on Drew Dober next, Dan Hooker and Paul Felder are the most likely options for Tony Ferguson.
Dan Hooker picked up an impressive victory against Paul Felder and put up an impressive performance against Dustin Poirier this year. Despite the loss to Poirier, Hooker sent a notice to the entire division and showed his toughness in what was a "Fight of the Year" outing for both the fighters.
Tony Ferguson should fight Paul Felder next
Even Daniel Cormier, in the recent episode of Ariel Helwani on ESPN, admitted that Paul Felder is an interesting option for Tony Ferguson. Paul Felder is a credible fighter with notable victories over Charles Oliveira and Edson Barboza. Felder missed out on a close win against Hooker, losing the fight via split decision.
Tony Ferguson vs Paul Felder is an exciting match-up and one that puts Felder to the top of the game. With the lightweight championship circling the top three in the division, it will help bring someone like Paul Felder into the mix.
A UFC veteran in his own right, Felder is known to deliver, and against someone like Ferguson, the fight is bound to excite fight fans around the world. Felder is currently ranked #7 in the UFC Lightweight rankings and could look to upset Ferguson in his return fight.Published 16 Sep 2020, 10:42 IST