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Morning Report: Manager for Conor McGregor, Tony Ferguson says Ferguson has earned next McGregor bout

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Audie Attar is one of the most notable managers in MMA. His company, Paradigm Sports Management, represents a plethora of established MMA veterans, among them former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, and current middleweight champion Michael Bisping. But the crown jewel of Attar’s collection of talent is UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, and Attar seems to think that McGregor may soon face off against another one of his clients, interim lightweight champion tony Ferguson.

Speaking recently on Bisping’s Believe You Me podcast, Attar discussed representing both clients, calling their eventual fight “inevitable.”

“The sport is one where they’re gonna compete. If you have clients in the same weight class and they’re the top of the division, they’re gonna meet. . . With Tony and Conor, it’s inevitable. You have the lightweight champ and the interim lightweight champ, so that’s a fight that’s naturally gonna happen.”

Ferguson won the interim title at UFC 216, submitting Kevin Lee with a triangle choke in the third round. The interim belt was established as McGregor has spent this year celebrating the birth of his child and pursuing a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. With McGregor seemingly done with his pugilistic pursuits, his return to the cage is one of the most anticipated events in MMA going forward, but who he will return against has been cause for rampant speculation. Ferguson would seemingly have the inside track as the interim champion, but the consensus front-runner has been the last man to beat McGregor in MMA, Nate Diaz. But while Attar refuses to say who is next for McGregor, and does admit that the Diaz fight has some appeal, he ultimately suggests that Ferguson has “earned a shot” and that it would validate the belt to make that fight.

“No, I can’t say [who McGregor will fight next]. Here’s what I will tell you, Tony earned a shot at the belt. He won the interim lightweight title. Conor doesn’t shy away from a challenge. The Nate fight does make sense, obviously, because of the trilogy, they never fought at 155, but they both make sense in their own respective way. However, I do believe that when [McGregor and Ferguson] go at it, it will, in my opinion, validate the belt system. It will validate what a championship belt is all about.”

McGregor has previously said that “legitimizing the title” is more important to him than money fights so it appears that a title unification bout may be on the horizon instead of a trilogy bout with Diaz, not that Diaz will be surprised or care. After all, Diaz told Ariel Helwani in May that McGregor and Ferguson were “in cahoots” together and said he doesn’t even want a third fight with McGregor in the first place.


MUST-READ STORIES

Sage. Demian Maia says there’s “a fine line between destroying your image or building your image” in response to Colby Covington’s trash talk.

Brazil. Covington says he was “on lockdown” by security after his post-fight remarks.

Safety. Dana White defends his treatment of Mark Hunt in an open letter.

TAM. Chris Holdsworth breaks his silence about T.J. Dillashaw training incident.

Perth. UFC 221 will take place in Perth, Australia on February 11, 2018.


VIDEO STEW

Embedded 1.

Free “freaky” fight to celebrate Halloween.

Every knockdown in Cody’s entire career.

Chael saying GSP is stronger than Bisping.

TJ on TMZ.

JJ champ camp.

Important techniques to learn.


LISTEN UP

The MMA Hour. Darren Till, Mike Perry, Colby Covington, and a ton of other interviews.

Anik & Florian. Tyron Woodley and Jorge Masvidal interviews.

The Co-Main Event. UFC Sao Paulo recap and UFC 217 preview.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Former ATT coach Ricardo Liborio on Colby.

Woodley.

Usman.

Beef.

Not even sure that would earn a title shot at this point.

Joanna with Bronsolino.

Perry getting in the Halloween spirit.

Ice cold.

GSP and Didier Drogba.

Missing the tiger but that’s a pretty solid effort.

Tate getting into the fitness game.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

N/A.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2004: Wanderlei Silva won his second fight with Quinton Jackson, slumping Rampage through the ropes with knees at Pride 28.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Happy Halloween! Per the poll yesterday about 36% of you say that Colby Covington’s trash talk has made you care about him one way or another so it looks like it’s working. Cheap heat is still heat, I suppose.

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


EXIT POLL

Poll

What fight are you most excited for this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Bisping vs. GSP
    (442 votes)
  • 53%
    Garbrandt vs. Dillashaw
    (815 votes)
  • 8%
    Jedrzejczyk vs. Namajunas
    (122 votes)
  • 8%
    Wonderboy vs. Masvidal
    (135 votes)
1514 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.