Michael Bisping believes Conor McGregor has got his work cut out for him against Tony Ferguson.
SBG Ireland coach Owen Roddy might not think that Tony Ferguson poses a threat to Conor McGregor, but UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping believes ‘El Cucuy’ has the tools to give ‘The Notorious’ all kinds of problems.
Roddy would prefer to see McGregor take on Nate Diaz in a trilogy bout, but Bisping, who also works as an analyst for FOX Sports, thinks that Ferguson is the tougher match-up.
“For sure [Ferguson is a tougher fight than Diaz]. The problem is for Tony Ferguson is that he does get hit,” Bisping said on a recent edition of his podcast, Believe You Me (h/t Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting). “We saw that against Kevin Lee, he had his chin up in the air a few times and Kevin Lee exposed that. Conor, love him or hate him, the guy can fight and he can strike and he can box. We saw that against Mayweather and if Kevin Lee connected with [Ferguson], sure as hell Conor will connect as well.”
One of the chinks in McGregor’s armor that was exposed in the Diaz fights and his most recent boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. was his cardio. The UFC lightweight faded early in the first Diaz bout at UFC 196 and looked to be on the brink of exhaustion against ‘The Best Ever’ in the 10th round.
Bisping, 38, believes that, like Diaz, Ferguson could overwhelm McGregor in the later rounds with his pressure striking.
“The problem that Conor has is the same problem that Kevin has: his gas tank isn’t the best. That’s not me being negative, it’s just that history has shown that. But Tony can weather the storm. Can he weather the storm in the way that Nate Diaz did? Can he take those shots? I guess we’ve got to see the fight to find out but it’s certainly an interesting matchup and you can make a lot of cases for both guys to win.”
Ferguson, 33, became the interim lightweight champ when he submitted ‘The Motown Phenom’ with a triangle choke at UFC 216 last weekend. The Ultimate Fighter 13 winner has to fight McGregor in a title unification bout, according to UFC president Dana White.
McGregor was stopped by Mayweather in the 10th round and has promised to return to the Octagon to defend his strap.
Bisping, who is one of the most underappreciated champions in the UFC, will defend his middleweight title against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217. The blockbuster pay-per-view takes place next month, Nov. 4, at Madison Square Garden, New York.