It's only a matter of time until UFC reveals who Conor McGregor's next opponent will be inside of the Octagon, but he'll most likely will be defending his UFC Lightweight Championship against the interim champion Tony Ferguson.
McGregor has hinted towards a confrontation with Ferguson in a post on social media with him driving a speedboat with money and his UFC title as his passengers with a caption which simply read: "Tony."
However, UFC is yet to confirm if Notorious will be fighting El Cucuy next, meaning there's still a chance the UFC Lightweight Champion could fight someone else next inside the Octagon, possibly completing the trilogy fight with longtime rival Nate Diaz.
Another name which has been throw in the hat is Paulie Malignaggi, who was McGregor's sparring partner for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather before he left his training camp unexpectedly. Brief footage of them sparring was then released which showed McGregor’s successful moments against Paulie.
Malignaggi went out of his way to make sure that no one bought into the idea that McGregor was better than him in the gym, leading to speculation that the two may end up settling their feud in the ring at a later date. Dana White, however, has recently said that isn't happening anytime soon.
The UFC President said on the “Real Quick with Mike Swick” podcast, via Bloody Elbow: “Do you think people really want to see Conor vs. Paulie Malignaggi? People want to see Conor fight in MMA. That’s what they want to see. The Mayweather fight was a one-off, f-cking crazy deal.
"This is where he belongs, this is the sport he’s in, this is the sport he excels in and this is where he’s a world champion. This is where he needs to be.”
White, who attended the sparring sessions between the two, is sticking to his story that McGregor was all over Malignaggi.
“Why did Paulie Malignaggi get up and walk out of camp after two sparring sessions? Because it was the right f-cking thing to do,” White said. “Because he was going to get hurt, because he was going to take damage that was going to affect him for the rest of his life that he didn’t need to f-cking take. It’s not like they were paying him big money or he had a f-cking fight coming up himself.”
McGregor is likely to face Ferguson in his next fight, and if White is able to have his way, that's who it's going to be.
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