It has now
been over a year since Conor McGregor won the UFC Lightweight title, knocking out Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. However, he hasn’t defended his title since the winning fight.
But now Bas Rutten, the former UFC heavyweight champion, is saying Conor McGregor has to
defend his lightweight title or he risks losing it.
“First of all, (he needs to fight) the interim champion,” Rutten said in an interview with Express Sport
. “He needs to defend his title, it’s got to start there.
“I think Max Holloway is a fight that he needs to fight as well if he still wants to fight it.
“Nate Diaz will be a great fight, but I think he’s holding the division hostage. He needs to defend his title. Otherwise, he’s going to have to step away from it.”
Following the news, it appears that McGregor has now returned to training.
On Monday, he used his Instagram to share a photo of himself in the changing room at Straight Blast Gym Ireland in the country’s capital.
The UFC’s lightweight champion was helping to make a commercial for his supplement sponsor, BSN.
It has also emerged that Khabib Nurmagomedov is not looking to get in the ring with McGregor after he has his UFC 219 fight with Edson Barboza
“I don’t want to think about Conor McGregor. He’s not like that fighter,” Nurmagomedov revealed when he appeared on UFC Tonight
. “He’s a different fighter.”
Nurmagomedov, AKA ‘The Eagle’, is much keener to have a fight against Tony Ferguson, the UFC’s interim lightweight champion.
“Fans know that in the lightweight division the most important fight is me versus Tony Ferguson,” he said. “But Conor can do whatever he wants. I don’t think about Conor.”
Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have actually been booked to fight on three separate occasions over the years, and all three times the fight ended up being canceled. The first two cancellations were due to Nurmagomedov’s knee injury and Ferguson’s collapsed lung.
They were then scheduled to fight in an interim lightweight title fight in March.
However, about 24 hours before the intended fight, it was reported that Nurmagomedov had fallen ill.
Of course, fiery words were exchanged during the lead-up to these fights, but Nurmagomedov has still shown himself to be a graceful competitor congratulating Ferguson on Twitter.
“My focus is Edson Barboza [in] December,” Nurmagomedov added. “And after this, I’m going to fight with Tony Ferguson in March or April. My focus is Edson Barboza on the third of December.”
Nurmagomedov will fight against Barboza on December 30th, and Barboza has told Combate
that fans will see him at his very best.
“You can expect the best Edson Barboza that has ever stepped into the Octagon,” he said. “I’m training a lot. I know my time is now. I’m ready to be a UFC champion, you’ll see.”
Either way, it is sure to be an entertaining fight and will have millions tuning in.
And for those of you who are interested in finally being able to watch Nurmagomedov and Ferguson in the ring together, Nurmagomedov has said that after his bout with Edson Barboza, he will “fight with Tony Ferguson in March or April.”
Let’s hope they avoid yet another cancellation this time around.