MMA Rumors: Tony Ferguson Could Fight Winner Of McGregor-Nurmagomedov ‘UFC 229’ Bout

Does Tony Ferguson deserve a shot at the UFC lightweight title?

Tony Ferguson UFC return
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Does Tony Ferguson deserve a shot at the UFC lightweight title?

After four months of recovering from an injury, UFC lightweight contender Tony Ferguson is expected to fight again in the Octagon. In an Instagram post, Ferguson hinted that he is “cleared” and ready to reclaim what is his. His manager refused to give a confirmation regarding Ferguson’s UFC return, but “El Cucuy” recently informed MMAjunkie via text that he is “Cleared For Combat.”

UFC President Dana White has not made any official statement regarding Tony Ferguson’s comeback fight. But it is highly likely that Ferguson will take a chance on fighting for the UFC lightweight title again. However, he will be needing to wait a little longer for that to happen.

After a 10-fight winning streak, Ferguson earned the opportunity to fight for the UFC lightweight title. His bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov was scheduled for the fourth time at UFC 233, but Ferguson was forced to withdraw from the fight after tearing his fibular and collateral ligament.

As of now, former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor is set to challenge Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight belt at UFC 229 on October 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. As the No. 3 fighter in the lightweight division, Ferguson definitely has the right to demand to fight the winner of the upcoming fight between McGregor and Nurmagomedov.

It remains questionable if Tony Ferguson is willing to wait longer just to fight again in the Octagon. However, according to Ben Fowlkes of MMAjunkie, there are only limited options for Ferguson in the lightweight division aside from the winner of McGregor-Nurmagomedov UFC 229 bout. UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier is scheduled to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 230, while other fighters available are either coming from a loss or were already beaten by Ferguson.

As Fowlkes noted, one of the best options for Tony Ferguson is to wait for something to happen before UFC 229. Ferguson could serve as an immediate replacement if one of McGregor or Nurmagomedov pulls out from the fight.

“A guy like Ferguson could get in the gym, stay healthy and ready, and at any time the phone could ring with good news (of someone else’s bad news). Granted, the phone could also just not ring at all. Or it could ring with a very last-minute offer of a very difficult style matchup. And unless you’re officially on some sort of retainer, waiting around usually doesn’t pay well.”

So far, it remains unknown what the UFC plans for Tony Ferguson now that he is cleared to fight again. Expect more updates about Ferguson in the coming days.