The sign of a good champion is the audible expression that comes out of your mouth when you read the list of people they’ve defeated.

If the champ kind of sucks, when you read their list of vanquished foes and say, “Hmmm, whatever,” that means you’re unimpressed.

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But if the champ is a killer, and their list is a murderers’ row of badasses, the “whoa” that you utter shows how much respect they’ve earned. That’s a good champ right there.

Tony Ferguson may be the interim lightweight champ, but he’s smashed some tough dudes. Kevin Lee, Lando Vannata, Edson Barboza, Josh Thomson… there’s even an ex-champ in Rafael dos Anjos tucked in there.

That’s a definite “whoa”.

The next big UFC on tap is UFC 223, which takes place in Brooklyn, NY, and has Ferguson clashing Khabib Nurmagomedov as its main event.

Putting aside the stylistic considerations this match-up brings, and just looking at this bout as a potential winning accomplishment for Ferguson, you have to think that that “W” over Nurmagomedov will erase whatever doubt lingers in regards to Ferguson’s place as champion.

Seriously, a win over Nurmagomedov… whoa.

Here’s Ferguson beating Dos Anjos.