Who's next? Khabib and Poirier agree Tony Ferguson should face UFC 242 winner
The two lightweight stars offered the same view when speaking to the press during separate media conference calls earlier this week ahead of their battle for the undisputed UFC 155-pound title in Abu Dhabi on September 7. They both said American Ferguson was the clear number one contender to face whoever wins the title this weekend.
“Oh yes, only Tony Ferguson, of course,” said reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib.
“I think he deserve. Who else? Nobody. Only Tony Ferguson, I think.”Also on rt.com Chasing ‘superfights’ is not the key to legacy, Khabib says ahead of UFC 242 showdown with Poirier
And interim champ Poirier was equally clear in his belief that Ferguson deserves the next shot.
“100 percent it’s Tony Ferguson, without a second guess,” he declared.
“Without any argument, it’s Tony Ferguson, no doubt.”
Ferguson can consider himself incredibly unlucky not to have fought for the undisputed title already. He defeated Kevin Lee at UFC 216 in October 2017 to claim the interim title, but his planned title fight with Khabib at UFC 223 in April 2018 fell through when Ferguson tore knee ligaments during a freak accident on the Fox Sports set during his pre-fight media obligations.
Since self-rehabbing his knee following surgery, Ferguson has fought twice, stopping both Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone in the second round at UFC 229 and UFC 238 respectively.
Overall, Ferguson is riding a 12-fight winning streak and has lost just once in his last 22 fights. It's a record that warrants respect, and clearly he has it from the two men set to fight for the undisputed title this weekend.
Now it seems the natural next step for “El Cucuy” is to face the winner of UFC 242's main event, and the American is sure to be an interested spectator when Khabib and Poirier throw down in Abu Dhabi.