UFC 219 closed out the year with a bang for the MMA promotion, with UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino and Khabib Nurmagomedov picking up big wins.
With 2018 marching on, a couple of big bouts could be coming our way, with the first being a possible fight for the undisputed UFC Lightweight Title between Tony Ferguson and Nurmagomedov.
“As long as Conor is willing to fight by March, we could do Khabib vs. Tony … and then the winner fights Conor for the title,” White told Yahoo! Sports. “Or, if Conor wants to sit out until next fall, then we’d have to make Khabib vs. Tony for the title – not the interim title.”
If a potential Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov bout is for the undisputed UFC Lightweight Title, it would mean that current champion Conor McGregor would have to be stripped of the gold.
Also on the bill for 2018 could be the first ever champion versus champion bout for the women of the UFC as Cyborg could be fighting UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes.
“Amanda Nunes wants to fight Cyborg,” White said. “That is the fight to make, and that is the fight I will make. That’s the fight. Amanda Nunes is a big, strong, powerful puncher. I think she matches up very well with Cyborg too, and I think that’s a fun fight. And that’s the fight to make.”
But Cyborg disagrees with the UFC President and even names whom she feels is the top contender for the title.
“As a world champion it is important that you face the (No. 1) contender,” Cyborg said on CrisCyborg.com. “That is what makes it sport and not entertainment, otherwise what are the girls fighting at (145 pounds) training to work towards if they know they will never be given a title shot even if they become the best in the world? I have a responsibility to the sport to ensure that when I retire the division continues to exist, and it is because of that I want my next fight to be against a contender from the featherweight division that has fought at (145 pounds) within the last year. If Megan Anderson is not ready to fight, then the next available contender Pam Sorenson deserves the opportunity. I can continue giving fans superfights. However, in order for this division to grow, it is my responsibility to respect the work of all the women fighting at (145 pounds) and give the top girls a chance at the title once they have earned it.”
Sorenson has never fought in the UFC before, but holds a win over UFC fighters Jessica-Rose Clark and Nicco Montano.
The women’s featherweight champion would give Nunes a shot at the title, but she wants to the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion to earn it first.
“If Amanda Nunes truly wants an opportunity at the (145-pound) belt, a win against any ranked contender in that division would help establish her back in a weight class she left before fighting me,” says Cyborg.
Despite making light of these potential bouts, one thing the UFC President has yet to do is announce a potential date(s) for when these fights could occur.