It appears that the UFC lightweight division is in for a mammoth shake-up if emerging reports are suggesting that Tony Ferguson will take on Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 for the lightweight title.
Currently held by Conor McGregor, speculation has been rife that the Irishman, who has not fought in the Octagon since November 2016, will be stripped of his title unless he returns to action soon.
Now, according to BJPenn.com journalist Chris Taylor, a deal has been done for a title fight in April and that it dramatically does not feature the former featherweight champion.
Breaking! I have confirmed with sources that Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov will fight for the undisputed UFC lightweight title at #UFC223 in Brooklyn. The bout will be made official later this week. McGregor will be stripped of his title. The bout was 1st reported by TASS
— Chris Taylor (@CTaylor_96) January 16, 2018
Current interim-lightweight champion Ferguson has long called for McGregor to either defend or vacate the title while Nurmagomedov has demanded his title shot throughout his last two fights in the octagon.
As the two top contenders in the division, it certainly makes sense that they face off for some form of gold. It now appears that it could be for the undisputed belt rather than the interim version currently in the possession of El Cucuy.
McGregor famously took on boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in a mega-money boxing fight back in August of last year and ever since, the Irishman has expressed little public interest in returning to the UFC arena anytime soon.
Having reportedly earned in excess of $100 million for his boxing adventures, the man from Crumlin has no need to put his body on the line again but fans are hoping that the competitor in him will coax him back.
Now, with reports that he could be stripped of his lightweight belt before he has the chance to return, it certainly begs the question, ‘will he want to return to try and take it back?’