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Morning Report: Manager for Conor McGregor, Tony Ferguson says Ferguson has earned next McGregor bout

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Audie Attar is one of the most notable managers in MMA. His company, Paradigm Sports Management, represents a plethora of established MMA veterans, among them former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, and current middleweight champion Michael Bisping. But the crown jewel of Attar’s collection of talent is UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, and Attar seems to think that McGregor may soon face off against another one of his clients, interim lightweight champion tony Ferguson.

Speaking recently on Bisping’s Believe You Me podcast, Attar discussed representing both clients, calling their eventual fight “inevitable.”

“The sport is one where they’re gonna compete. If you have clients in the same weight class and they’re the top of the division, they’re gonna meet. . . With Tony and Conor, it’s inevitable. You have the lightweight champ and the interim lightweight champ, so that’s a fight that’s naturally gonna happen.”

Ferguson won the interim title at UFC 216, submitting Kevin Lee with a triangle choke in the third round. The interim belt was established as McGregor has spent this year celebrating the birth of his child and pursuing a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. With McGregor seemingly done with his pugilistic pursuits, his return to the cage is one of the most anticipated events in MMA going forward, but who he will return against has been cause for rampant speculation. Ferguson would seemingly have the inside track as the interim champion, but the consensus front-runner has been the last man to beat McGregor in MMA, Nate Diaz. But while Attar refuses to say who is next for McGregor, and does admit that the Diaz fight has some appeal, he ultimately suggests that Ferguson has “earned a shot” and that it would validate the belt to make that fight.

“No, I can’t say [who McGregor will fight next]. Here’s what I will tell you, Tony earned a shot at the belt. He won the interim lightweight title. Conor doesn’t shy away from a challenge. The Nate fight does make sense, obviously, because of the trilogy, they never fought at 155, but they both make sense in their own respective way. However, I do believe that when [McGregor and Ferguson] go at it, it will, in my opinion, validate the belt system. It will validate what a championship belt is all about.”

McGregor has previously said that “legitimizing the title” is more important to him than money fights so it appears that a title unification bout may be on the horizon instead of a trilogy bout with Diaz, not that Diaz will be surprised or care. After all, Diaz told Ariel Helwani in May that McGregor and Ferguson were “in cahoots” together and said he doesn’t even want a third fight with McGregor in the first place.


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Sage. Demian Maia says there’s “a fine line between destroying your image or building your image” in response to Colby Covington’s trash talk.

Brazil. Covington says he was “on lockdown” by security after his post-fight remarks.

Safety. Dana White defends his treatment of Mark Hunt in an open letter.

TAM. Chris Holdsworth breaks his silence about T.J. Dillashaw training incident.

Perth. UFC 221 will take place in Perth, Australia on February 11, 2018.


VIDEO STEW

Embedded 1.

Free “freaky” fight to celebrate Halloween.

Every knockdown in Cody’s entire career.

Chael saying GSP is stronger than Bisping.

TJ on TMZ.

JJ champ camp.

Important techniques to learn.


LISTEN UP

The MMA Hour. Darren Till, Mike Perry, Colby Covington, and a ton of other interviews.

Anik & Florian. Tyron Woodley and Jorge Masvidal interviews.

The Co-Main Event. UFC Sao Paulo recap and UFC 217 preview.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Former ATT coach Ricardo Liborio on Colby.

I feel that I must make a statement in light of the comments made by Colby Convigton along with the amount of messages sent to me from Brazil, the United States, and from all over the world. I’m here to state that I am no longer with American Top Team. Also, I absolutely do not condone any behavior that instigates hate, prejudice, or bullying of any kind. It upsets me to see the sport taking this direction of blatant disrespect. It’s unsportsmanlike, but it also fosters and promotes a culture of cruelty towards others. Combat Sports should always represent the qualities of humility, empathy, and respect. I dedicated my life to the Martial arts, and to the formation and growth of this team. I can not discuss at this time the reasons for my departure from ATT. At some point, I will. For the time being, I want the members of ATT to know that they will always be in my heart❤

A post shared by Ricardo Liborio (@liboriobjj) on Oct 30, 2017 at 11:41am PDT

Woodley.

Usman.

Beef.

Not even sure that would earn a title shot at this point.

Joanna with Bronsolino.

I had so much fun with @bambambaklava at The Untitled Show today Watch it on Friday on @viceland #thestrawweightqueen #joannachampion #joannajedrzejczyk #media #mediaday #ActionBronson #UFC217 #Andastill #UFC

A post shared by Joanna Jedrzejczyk (@joannajedrzejczyk) on Oct 30, 2017 at 2:48pm PDT

Perry getting in the Halloween spirit.

A little pumpkin practice for Halloween ! happy holidays everyone. Enjoy the candy. Tune in too @ufconfox December 16th to watch the fight of the year between me and the #10 ranked welterweight in the world ! #PumpkinsAreHarderThanIThought #BestFightOfTheYear #AndItsBeenAGreatYearForFighting #StylesMakeFights #PlatinumPandaStyle #HardWork #Dedication #Follow @platinumprincessofficial

A post shared by Platinum Mike Perry (@platinummikeperry) on Oct 30, 2017 at 5:50pm PDT

Ice cold.

GSP and Didier Drogba.

Très content d’avoir pu voir mon ami @didierdrogba qui était de retour à Montréal, juste avant que je parte pour les États-Unis!

A post shared by Georges St-Pierre (@georgesstpierre) on Oct 30, 2017 at 7:03am PDT

Missing the tiger but that’s a pretty solid effort.

Tate getting into the fitness game.

I’m very excited to be producing my first ever online workout program for you!! I finally get to share my training, nutritional & motivational tips! Coming very soon is the Be Your Own Champion 30 day challenge!! #fitness #health #beyourownchampion #30daychallenge

A post shared by Miesha Tate (@mieshatate) on Oct 30, 2017 at 2:35pm PDT


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

N/A.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2004: Wanderlei Silva won his second fight with Quinton Jackson, slumping Rampage through the ropes with knees at Pride 28.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Happy Halloween! Per the poll yesterday about 36% of you say that Colby Covington’s trash talk has made you care about him one way or another so it looks like it’s working. Cheap heat is still heat, I suppose.

That’s all for today folks, see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.


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