Few people get as close an insight into the mind of Conor McGregor like his longtime training partner Artem Lobov.
The Russian Hammer has been with McGregor since the early days of the Irishman’s career, and has grown to understand how the UFC lightweight thinks. So when it comes to guessing who we’ll see McGregor face off against in the UFC next, Lobov has as good an idea as anyone.
And speaking with Karyn Bryant, Lobov revealed that — in his mind — there’s only one obvious choice. Tony Ferguson.
“In my eyes, of course he’s going to fight Tony,” Lobov said. “Why wouldn’t he fight Tony? His belt is on the line now. This guy has this fake belt around his waist. Conor wants to take that away by all means. In my eyes, one hundred percent he’s going to fight Tony. Who else is he going to fight?
“Why wouldn’t he fight Tony? Why wouldn’t he defend that belt? That belt means a lot to Conor. He’s dreamed since a very, very long time ago of having that belt. So it’s going to be damn, damn hard to try and take that belt, he’s going to be defending that belt for a long time.”
At this point, McGregor vs. Ferguson is probably one of the most anticipated contests in the UFC lightweight division. With Ferguson’s unparalleled winning streak going up against McGregor’s sniper-like precision, it’s certainly a contest that has fans waiting in anticipation.
According to Lobov, though, it’s Ferguson’s tendency to get hit that will decide the night.
“Tony is a good fighter for sure, he’s no pussy,” Lobov said. “He fights, that’s for sure. But just watching his fights, he does take one too many shots in there. It might be okay against everyone else, but against Conor it’s not going to go well for him. Even against [Edson] Barboza, he had to start diving for those takedowns. You don’t do that when the fight is going your way, you do that because you felt the power and you don’t want none.
“I feel Conor is a lot more powerful than Barboza, a lot more precise. He’s got a record to prove that. I feel it might be an early night for Tony.”