Former interim lightweight champ Tony Ferguson was supposed to face Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event of UFC 223, but about a million things went sideways the week of the fight, and, well, it ended up being Nurmagomedov versus Al Iaquinta for the belt, and now the Dagestani is champ.
Setting off the chain reaction of weird and confounding events was, of course, Ferguson injuring his knee in a freak accident.
As per a pic he posted to Instagram, he really did mess that thing up.
“Keep Fighting” I Can’t Say Its Going To Be Easy… But I Will Say Everything In My Life Has Prepared Me For This Test. Whatever You Are Going Through Remember Someone Has It Worse… Thank You Everyone For The Thoughts & Prayers…Real Talk. #TeamElCucuy I Hate Sitting On The Sidelines, but “belt or no belt I won’t allow that to define me…” This Is #MyRoadToRecoveryXT #TonyFergusonMMA SnapJitsu™ #SnapDownCity 🙏😌 🇺🇸🏆🇲🇽 -Champ
Now, the big question is what happens next for the TUF winner. Obviously, healing up is the first order of business, but after that, where does Ferguson stand in the division? Ain’t no way the UFC should ever consider re-booking a Ferguson/Nurmagomedov fight, especially since every time they’ve tried to book it the end result has gotten worse and worse.
It’s doubtful there’s even a Conor McGregor match-up lingering as an option, so Ferguson is going to have to dive back into the talent pool and face dudes like Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier. And those aren’t exactly good match-ups for him…
So who should Ferguson fight when he returns?