As you are no doubt well aware, Conor McGregor loves a scrap. He also loves making a noise on social media. So it should come as no surprise that his name has come up in a list of possible replacement fighters to face Tony Ferguson at UFC 249.
On Twitter, McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh responded to a Twitter poll about possible replacement fighters that did not include McGregor, with the words “Maybe there’s a third option?”
Ferguson was supposed to fight lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, but he is now trapped in Russia. Rather than cancelling the fight, which was set to be one of the biggest of the year, Dana White and Ferguson are determined that the show will go on, with or without Khabib.
McGregor and Khabib’s rivalry is intense, to say the least. After McGregor attacked the Khabib team’s bus (resulting in his arrest) Khabib made his dislike of the Irishman very clear. Indeed, after his victory over the Notorious, Khabib scaled the Octagon and launches a two-footed attack at McGregor’s team.
You’d imagine that McGregor would like nothing more than to step in and take Khabib’s place in a fight against Ferguson, the #1 lightweight contender.
If the fight was made it would surely be for the interim lightweight title, meaning the winner would then face Khabib at the earliest opportunity.
This would be McGregor’s opportunity to take another run at Khabib, who has said he’s not interested in fighting the Irishman again.
Despite looking in excellent shape against Donald Cerrone in January, McGregor will not take stepping into the Octagon at short notice lightly, especially against an opponent as fierce and fit as Ferguson.
Ferguson is on an 11-fight win streak and hasn’t been beaten since 2012, when he lost to Michael Johnson.
That being said, UFC president Dana White suggested earlier this year that McGregor deliberately fought at Welterweight in January so that, if the Khabib- Ferguson fight didn’t happen, he could jump right in.
“Conor wanted to do this fight at 170 because he wants to turn right around and jump right in and fight Khabib if that fight doesn’t happen.” White said, speaking to TMZ back in January.
McGregor also knows that even at short notice, opponents can be dangerous. In 2016 he was beaten by Nate Diaz, who had just 11-days-notice, after McGregor’s original opponent pulled out due to a broken foot.
Can this fight be made in the middle of the world’s biggest crisis since WW2? If anyone can do it, it’ll be Conor McGregor.