Edson Barboza is a few weeks away from facing the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov in the co-main event of UFC 219.
When it comes to the ruler of the lightweight division, it is interim champion Tony Ferguson who is the real champ in Barboza’s eyes.
“I’m number three in the rankings and I see Tony Ferguson as the actual champion. I always make this very clear. It doesn’t matter whether or not Conor McGregor comes back. I don’t know if he is coming back or not and I don’t care. All I hope for is that whoever wins my fight with Khabib, becomes the next one to fight Ferguson for the belt,” Barboza said to Combate.
McGregor won the UFC Lightweight Title back at UFC 205 in November of 2016, but the fighter has yet to step into the Octagon since that bout. Barboza and Ferguson have clashed in the Octagon before as well, with Ferguson getting the win at the UFC Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale.
As far as UFC 219 goes, fans can expect to see the best version of Barboza when he faces Nurmagomedov.
“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 an UFC champion, you’ll see.”
UFC 219 takes place on Saturday, December 30 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Cyborg and Holly Holm headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.