Artem Lobov returns to the Octagon this weekend at UFC Fight Night Gdansk, where he takes on Andre Fili in a featherweight division bout.
The featherweight fighter is a longtime training partner of UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor and Lobov says UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson has earned an opportunity against the Irishman.
“I think Tony is next,” Lobov told MMA Fighting. “The only reason why I say that is it was unclear who was next for the title shot. There was Khabib, there was Tony and then Kevin Lee stood up. Then, when Kevin Lee was announced we weren’t sure that Tony would be ready. As soon as Tony got the belt, in my eyes he’s next because Tony obviously wants that belt.”
McGregor has yet to announce his next move in combat sports, but was last seen in the Octagon at UFC 205.
As far as the other top contenders for the lightweight title goes, the longtime McGregor training partner has a few ideas.
“In my head, Conor defends the belt against Tony,” said Lobov. “In the mean time, Khabib can fight the winner of Alvarez and Gaethje. Whoever wins that can be next. While all that takes place, we can throw Diaz in the mix there somewhere.”
UFC Fight Night Gdansk takes place on Saturday, October 21 from the Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland with Donald Cerrone and Darren Till headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on UFC Fight Pass.