Here's what has changed, and what has been learned.Read article
By now, you’ve probably heard about UFC 229 and the chaos that followed. If not, here’s the basic story: Khabib Nurmagomedov (27-0) defended his lightweight championship belt against former champ Conor McGregor (21-4), then both parties brawled outside the Octagon once the fight was over.
Unsurprisingly, McGregor took to Instagram to demand a rematch before the dust had even settled. But Joe Rogan threw his two cents in on his Joe Rogan Experience podcast, saying that he’d rather see Nurmagomedov take on former interim lightweight champ Tony Ferguson.
“There’s all this talk about a Conor rematch, because financially that would be a fantastic fight,” Rogan said. “Financially. But if you look at what happened, that was a dominant victory. I mean, there was one round where Conor did pretty good—the third round. Other than that, Khabib just sort of dominated him.”
Plenty of UFC fans would agree with Rogan’s thinking, especially the fact that a Khabib-McGregor rematch makes financial sense for UFC president Dana White. UFC 229 shattered the UFC record for most pay-per-view buys with over 2.4 million, so it’s undeniable that a rematch would do well in that respect. The fight that held the record before UFC 229 was UFC 202, McGregor’s rematch against Nate Diaz. Any guess what the third most-bought fight is? That’s right, UFC 196—McGregor and Diaz’s first title fight. If history repeats itself, Khabib vs. McGregor 2 is a no-brainer for the UFC.
While Rogan would rather see Khabib vs. Ferguson happen, he also admits that McGregor was in a similar situation before his rematch with Diaz.
“I guess you could say that’s sort of the same thing that happened in the Nate Diaz fight, and Conor McGregor came back and won the rematch,” Rogan said. “The argument is Conor was rusty, he’s out of the cage for two years, he gets back in, let’s do [a rematch].”
Ferguson was the interim champ while McGregor took a UFC hiatus and tried his hand at boxing against retired legend Floyd Mayweather, Jr. He’s also coming off his 11th-straight win following his bout with Anthony Pettis at UFC 229. There’s no denying Rogan’s speculation that Khabib vs. Ferguson would be an entertaining title fight, but time will tell if White feels the same way.