UFC Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson won the bout via triangle choke submission against Kevin Lee at UFC 216 and claimed the UFC interim Lightweight title. El Cucuy’s performance was so incredible at UFC 216 this past Saturday that he put himself in the list of top competitors like Conor Mcgregor. At the moment Notorious is taking some time off after his boxing match with Floyd and looking out his worthy options who to fight next. UFC 216 post-fight interview Ferguson called out Mcgregor for in the hope of title unification bout.
Even according to some rumors surfacing that UFC might be considering Conor Mcgregor and Diaz trilogy fight. Later UFC president Dana White proclaimed that title fight has to happen and to divert the attention away from a trilogy it would be between Conor and Ferguson.
UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping is speaking to his Beleive you me podcast recently, where he thinks Ferguson would be the much tougher opponent to Conor Mcgregor than Nate Diaz trilogy in his return to UFC.
“Here’s the thing, Diaz is saying he wants $20 million to fight Conor for the third time, which sounds insane,” said Bisping. “It is insane but realistically, if that was boxing, for an event that size, a fight that big for the PPV numbers, I feel like the boxer would get that money or close to it. . .
“But 20 million, I think what he’s doing there is pricing himself out of the market, simple as that. That’s why Dana is pushing the Ferguson fight. Dana, by going out there at the press conference and saying publicly that Ferguson has to fight Conor, that takes the momentum away from Diaz, so that’s gonna soften his stance on the 20 million.”
Nate Diaz had two pair of bouts last year with Conor Mcgregor, in UFC 196 Diaz won via submission in the second round, and at UFC 202 Diaz lost the re-match via majority decision. Before accepting his rematch, he negotiated the deal with UFC. Bisping here said Diaz is using the same tactics for a trilogy fight with higher financial demand; he forgot UFC has another lucrative option in Tony Ferguson.
“Maybe [Diaz]’s just using that as a negotiation tactic but I think if he doesn’t get what he wants he’ll say, ‘F**k it, I’m not fighting then,’ and unfortunately, there is another good fight there with Ferguson vs. McGregor. While it doesn’t have the history of the Diaz-McGregor fight, that’s still a good fight and a lot of people are gonna pay to see that and that is a good backup plan for the UFC and it is the legitimate fight. Especially in the era where people are now talking s**t about all these interim titles, it looks like a good PR move for the UFC as well.”
Michael Bisping added more, no doubt both Nate Diaz and Ferguson are durable fighters, but Ferguson is much tougher:
“For sure [Ferguson is a tougher fight than Diaz]. The problem is for Tony Ferguson is that he does get hit. We saw that against Kevin Lee, he had his chin up in the air a few times and Kevin Lee exposed that. Conor, love him or hate him, the guy can fight and he can strike and he can box. We saw that against Mayweather and if Kevin Lee connected with [Ferguson], sure as hell Conor will connect as well.
“The problem that Conor has is the same problem that Kevin has, his gas tank isn’t the best. That’s not me being negative, it’s just that history has shown that. But Tony can weather the storm. Can he weather the storm in the way that Nate Diaz did? Can he take those shots? I guess we’ve got to see the fight to find out but it’s certainly an interesting matchup and you can make a lot of cases for both guys to win.”