There is still one top contender who believes there should be called the champion.
UFC interim Lightweight champion Tony Ferguson is on the road from recovery. If you recall, Ferguson was slated to take on top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov at the UFC 223 pay-per-view event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
However, this fight was not mean to be. This was when it was revealed that Ferguson suffered an injury and had to pull out of the fight.
UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway stepped up on six days notice to accept this fight and save this pay-per-view by competing against Nurmagomedov. However, Holloway was pulled, and Al Iquantia stepped in.
The reason that Ferguson was unable to make this fight happen and was forced out of the main event is due to the fact that he tore his LCL. As a result, he had to undergo the knife to correct the injury.
Once it was revealed that Ferguson wouldn’t be fighting for the real belt, many believed that he would be stripped of the interim title.
However, that’s not the case according to UFC President Dana White. The UFC boss made it clear that Ferguson is still the #1 contender for the title. At the end of the day though, Khabib is still the lightweight champion.
Top lightweight contender Michael Chiesa recently gave his take about the situation and believes Ferguson is the true champion.
Regardless, lightweight contender Michael Chiesa, who recently spoke on the situation, still sees Ferguson as the true champion:
“In my eyes, Tony Ferguson’s the champion,” Chiesa told Submission Radio (transcript courtesy of LowKickMMA). “I mean, his win streak has a lot of prestigious names to it. You know, he beat Kevin Lee, he beat Rafael dos Anjos, he beat Edson Barboza, he’s got that long laundry list of guys in his win streak.”
“So, I look at Tony as the champion. But, you know, I’m not taking anything away from Khabib. He’s got, what, 25-0, 26-0 record all together? So, his win streak’s insane, but I look at Tony as the champion. Now, if Tony and Khabib fight, who knows how that fight goes, but just in my eyes I think that Tony’s the champion.”
“Actually, of all the guys, I’d rather fight Tony. Just because Tony and I were supposed to fight in 2016 and that never came to fruition,” Chiesa said. “And I look at Tony as the toughest match-up for me. With that being said, I think him being the toughest match-up for me will bring out the best in me.”
“I’m the type of guy where I feel like if you throw me in against the guy that’s gonna be my hardest match-up, I think that’s gonna bring out the best in me, and I know that the best of me can beat anybody on any given day to become the world champion. So, Tony is the fight that I like for myself.”