In the main event of UFC 236, an interim lightweight title is on the line. However, arguably the top contender in Tony Ferguson is not fighting for it. Rather, Dustin Poirier is taking on featherweight champion, Max Holloway for the belt. That leaves Ferguson on the outside looking in.
Really, Ferguson had every right to decline the fight. He had already been the interim champion and was stripped and didn’t get the title shot. Now, the question is of what is next for Ferguson. Well, according to UFC President, Dana White isn’t worried about that as he believes Ferguson missed his chance.
“I don’t know. I say all the time that when there is an opportunity take it,” Dana White said at today’s UFC 236 press conference. “Everybody who is sitting up here today is proof of that. Take the opportunities and you get the shot. I don’t know where this leaves Tony. Tony didn’t want the fight. It’s the fight I wanted. I mean we even tried to make a fight with both of these two (Holloway and Poirier) and he didn’t want it. You can’t make anybody fight man. If he doesn’t want it, he doesn’t want it. We offered, he declined and so we move on.”
Ultimately, that is a big blow to Ferguson and MMA fans who have wanted to see Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov for years now. As well, White confirmed that the winner of Poirier vs Holloway will be getting the first crack at Nurmagomedov when he is able to fight after his suspension.
Now Ferguson has a choice to make. Does he wait it out or take another fight against a top contender like Al Iaquinta, Conor McGregor or any other top lightweight? Know for sure, Ferguson missed his chance according to White and he won’t be fighting for the belt next.