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Morning Report: Joe Rogan speculates on whether Conor McGregor will fight Nate Diaz or Tony Ferguson next

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UFC 202 - Weigh-in Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

After coming up short in a spirited effort against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August, the biggest story in MMA has been the impending return of the biggest star in the sport, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, and who he will fight for his first title defense. A trilogy fight with Nate Diaz was the most widely speculated fight for McGregor, but after Tony Ferguson won the interim lightweight title in thrilling fight against Kevin Lee at UFC 216, suddenly the picture became a little murkier. McGregor himself even added fuel to the fire, posting to Twitter to call out the new UFC champion.

Needless to say, the speculation machine has been cranked up to 11 in the MMA community about McGregor’s next fight and on the most recent Fight Companion edition of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, UFC commentator Joe Rogan added his voice to the discussion, saying that Ferguson is the “logical” fight and that he seemed to be next for McGregor.

“Conor made that post to Tony,” Rogan said. “He made an Instagram post. Grand Theft Auto with him holding a gun, driving a boat. Conor’s smart. He realizes that Tony’s an unusual, eccentric character. Conor’s an unusual, eccentric character, Tony’s an unusual, eccentric character too and Tony has the longest win streak in the UFC’s 155-pound division. He’s the interim champion and he’s the logical fight. He’s a bad motherf**ker, no doubt, and a legitimate champion. . .

“Conor sells like f**king crazy and Conor versus Tony sells because Tony’s a legit threat. Conor versus a legit threat sells. Conor fighting someone sells but Conor versus a legit threat is where it gets interesting.”

McGregor is the biggest star in the history of MMA. His last four fights have all topped 1 million buys (five if you count his boxing match against Mayweather which sold over 4 million buys). But while McGregor would, most likely, pull in incredible pay-per-view numbers against any opponent, his best MMA numbers have come against the one man to beat him in the UFC, Nate Diaz.

When McGregor fought Diaz on short notice at UFC 196, the event still drew an estimated 1,317,000 buys, 17,000 more than McGregor’s history-making fight against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 which only sold 1,300,000 buys. Those numbers suggest that the star-power of his opponent does boost McGregor’s own drawing potential and that’s where Ferguson falls well short. Ferguson’s fight with Lee is estimated to have drawn an estimated 120,000 buys, which Rogan says opens the window for Diaz, and the boost in exposure he got from beating McGregor, to get the fight.

“The whole world doesn’t know Tony but the MMA world knows Tony, for sure. But the regular people are the people you really need to get ahold of to buy pay-per-views. [Nate] is the money [fight]. . . [But] Nate made four million bucks over two fights and he don’t give a f**k. He’s like, ‘Pay Me.’ He beat Conor and in the second fight he arguably had a draw with Conor. He lost a decision based on a couple people’s opinion. Public opinion means a lot and if you went online and asked people who you think won that fight, I bet you would get very close to 50/50 Nate versus Conor. . .

“Those guys are rivals man and Nate choked him the f**k out in the first fight. That’s always gonna be there. . . The big money would be the Nate Diaz fight even if Nate beat him in the second fight.

“You think you can go to the gas station right now and go, ‘Hey man, who’s Tony Ferguson?’ If you go to the average person and ask them who Nate Diaz is, way more people are gonna know who he is than Tony.”

And in the end, that could be all the matters. After all, if there’s one thing McGregor’s time on top of the sport has taught us it’s that the money fight always wins.


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VIDEO STEW

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LISTEN UP

Severe MMA. KSW Dublin and UFC Gdansk are broken down and discussed.

The Co-Main Event. Talking about Darren Till and what’s next for him after Cerrone.

Anik & Florian. UFC Gdansk recap and UFC Sao Paulo preview.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Dustin Poirier is doing a good thing.

I will be selling my fight kit from my upcoming fight at UFC Fight Night 120. All of the proceeds will be going directly...

Posted by Dustin Poirier on Monday, October 23, 2017

Lansberg on her fight.

What weird experience... I had a great camp, cut weight (which was harder than the fight itself even though this cut felt easy) and was ready for a fight. Our game plan worked perfect from the start as I was light on my feet creating angles to then clinch up where I felt dominant. Every time we got into striking exchanges I felt even more dominant. In the second round Aspen timed a perfect takedown as I threw an uppercut and she had really good pressure as the world class grappler she is. When she mounted me I worked my escapes as she released pressure for strikes but she countered good. I then chose to roll to my knees to later roll back to my side as the referee stops the fight! The strikes where far from hard and during this whole scramble I hear the weirdest screams I’ve ever heard thinking “wow that’s annoying” and totally thought the referee stopped/paused the fight to tell her to stop screaming. Is that even allowed!? Did the crazy screaming affect the referee in any way!? Did he maybe think that I was the one screaming!? These questions actually don’t matter at all, just thoughts that I have. In the next moment I realized that the fight was over due to TKO. I just couldn’t believe it. In my mind we weren’t even halfway to a TKO and I was still moving and no real damage was done. I’ve watched so many fights where the canvas turns red from blood and the fight continues but this was ridiculous. I’ve gotten tons of beautiful support and comments about the early stoppage. To train this hard for something like this is not fun at all. I truly feel like I had a light sparring session last night, total frustration is a good word to describe how I feel. I’d like to thank everyone who supports me and of course my coaches @akiracorassani , @jockegbgmma , @_trymdahl and all my wonderful teammates @redlinetc . Love you all ❤️

A post shared by Lina Länsberg (@linalansberg) on

Gomi says he’s returning to the ring in Japan at New Year’s Eve.

そろそろ日本のリングに戻ろ #大晦日

A post shared by 五味隆典 (@takanorigomi) on

Taisumov.

Anthony Smith.

Stipe.

Covington.

Jacare says he’s been tested 9 times this year by USADA.

Cool for Dodson.

When you get a chance to do some stunts for #NBC #THEBRAVE it was fun being on set with these awesome people.

A post shared by John Dodson (@johndodsonmma) on


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

N/A.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2009: Lyoto Machida won a very contentious unanimous decision over Mauricio Rua, retaining his light heavyweight title at UFC 104.

2014: Emanuel Newton retained his Bellator light heavyweight title with a fifth round rear-naked choke of Linton Vassell at Bellator 130.

2015: Louis Smolka and Paddy Holohan main-evented UFC Fight Night 76 in Dublin, Ireland. Smolka won by second round rear-naked choke.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Darren Till took home a comfortable 52% of the vote yesterday to claim the title of best young prospect in the welterweight division. Kamaru Usman came in second with 27% and Mike Perry pulled in 13%. I’m a bit surprised Usman didn’t get slightly more of the vote but I’m not gonna disagree with the results.

That’s all for today folks, see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

Would Conor-Nate III do better PPV numbers than Conor-Tony?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Yes, more than 100K buys better at least.
    (922 votes)
  • 23%
    Yes, but not substantially better.
    (359 votes)
  • 15%
    No. Conor-Tony would sell more.
    (232 votes)
1513 votes total Vote Now

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