Audie Attar, the manager of Conor McGregor, spoke to Ariel Helwani on this week’s edition of the MMA Hour and put forth his own thoughts for an interim-lightweight title fight that would keep the fans occupied while McGregor continues to make moves towards a foray into the world of boxing.
Disappointment is something that us sports fans have to deal with in some shape or form on a fairly regular basis. Whether it’s your favourite team coming up short or a supposed shoo-in letting you down with your hard-earned cash on the table, the inevitability of disappointment in the world of sports is just part and parcel of it all.
UFC 209 was a fight card, however, that gave completely new meaning to the word, as the highly anticipated interim-lightweight title fight between the unbeaten Russian sambo-master Khabib Nurmagomedov and the crafty and versatile Ultimate Fighter-winner Tony Ferguson was scrapped at the last minute when complications with Nurmagomedov’s weight-cut caused him to be hospitalized just hours before the fight was scheduled to take place.
MMA fans across the world were shocked and distraught at this news and despite the strength of the fight-card left in the contest’s wake, the entire event still suffered as a result of this unfortunate cancellation.
With the UFC’s lightweight champion Conor McGregor edging closer and closer to a potentially record-breaking boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, his manager Audie Attar joined Ariel Helwani on this week’s edition of the MMA Hour for an interview in which he unfortunately remained extremely tight-lipped on the subject of the heavily speculated but-yet-to-be-confirmed matchup.
One very interesting point that did arise from the discussion, however, was Attar’s argument for an interim title matchup at 155lb that would most certainly put the memories of the whole UFC 209 debacle to rest once and for all.
Tony Ferguson, who missed out on his first shot at UFC gold as a result of Khabib’s health issues, is also a client of Audie Attar and in response to a question from Helwani about El Cucuy’s next move, Attar gave us all an insight into the fight that not only makes sense for his client, but also for another man who has a bone to pick with the Notorious lightweight kingpin.
“The Nate Diaz fight interests him [Tony]. You know, quite frankly Nate’s sitting on the sidelines and you have to get Conor excited. If you want to get Conor excited about something you gotta go in there and fight, you know, if you want to fight him in the future.”
“So Nate/Tony for the interim-title, that creates narrative. And so if Nate really thinks he’s worthy of it he A: gets to fight for a title and B: one of those guys has to come out victorious so and both of them want to make Conor excited, they want to fight him.”
“If this thing happens with Floyd [Mayweather], you have to make him excited to get back in there with you [in the UFC], that’s just the reality of it. From an opportunity standpoint, Nate would be foolish not to consider taking Tony on in an interim title fight.”
So there you have it, folks! Tony Ferguson vs Nate Diaz for the UFC’s interim lightweight championship. The winner would then, of course, take his interim belt and attempt to unify it in a showdown with the Notorious One. You can’t deny that that has a nice ring to it.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena