Nothing is definitive about the UFC lightweight title picture. Despite that, UFC commentator Joe Rogan has offered a bold prediction on how things will unfold.
Currently the 155-pound belt is held by Conor McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), and the interim championship belongs to Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC), while unbeaten contender Khabib Nurmagomedov (25-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC) is waiting in the wings, eager for a matchup with either belt holder.
McGregor has not competed in MMA since winning his title from Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in November 2016. UFC President Dana White recently declared the promotion can only wait so long for McGregor to get back in the octagon, and if a plan isn’t put in place for the coming months, the division will have to move on.
Rogan believes “The Notorious” won’t be getting back in the cage anytime soon, and therefore the UFC brass will opt to take his belt away.
“Here’s my prediction: My prediction (is) Conor doesn’t fight for a while. They strip Conor,” Rogan told guest Tyron Woodley on Thursday’s edition of the “JRE MMA Show” podcast. “Tony and Khabib fight for the world title.”
McGregor already has been stripped of a UFC belt once before. After becoming the first simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history, McGregor had the featherweight championship taken away.
If not for an August boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, it’s very likely McGregor would have been back in the octagon by now. He received a gigantic payday for the bout, which he lost by 10th-round TKO, delaying his comeback to MMA – if he ever fights again.
No one would blame McGregor if he opted not to, and according to him, the UFC will have to beg. Regardless, the frustration stems from how McGregor’s actions impact the rest of the lightweight division. Ferguson has put together a 10-fight winning streak just to win interim gold, while Nurmagomedov has won nine-straight in the UFC.
Rogan feels the UFC will soon make a definitive move, and he sees the final result being a Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov undisputed title matchup –possibly in Russia.
“I think they’re going to strip him, because Conor’s got $100 million in the bank, and he’s having fun and talking (expletive), and he’s going to keep training,” Rogan said. “And he’s going to make a big fight in the future, but I think Khabib and Tony is the big fight and (expletive), they might even do that one in Russia. They’re talking about doing a big fight in Russia.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
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