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UFC FN 106: Edson Barboza Wants to Face Tony Ferguson For Interim Belt, Says Conor McGregor’s Not a “True Champ”

Kelsey Mowatt

UFC Fortaleza

More than a few fighters have argued that Conor McGregor hasn’t truly been vetted yet at 155 pounds, and Edson Barboza is clearly on that list.

McGregor laid claim to the UFC’s lightweight title back in November, by taking out Eddie Alvarez in the second round. The bout marked the first time that McGregor competed at 155 in the Octagon, and as it stands right now, it’s not clear who and when he’ll fight again. The Irish star is taking some time off in advance of the birth of his first child, and McGregor has said he wants to box Floyd Mayweather next.

Recently Barboza spoke with MMA Fighting, in advance of his fight tonight with Beneil Dariush, which will go down in Fortaleza, Brazil. Barboza hopes to score a win tonight, and then rematch Ferguson for the interim belt. Ferguson submitted the dangerous striker back in 2015.

When asked if the winner of that proposed bout would be the real champ, Barboza said this (quote via MMA Mania):

“Yeah, I think so, because, man, I have more than ten fights in this division, more than fifteen. Ferguson have more than ten fights, Khabib have more than ten fights. Conor, I think, have just one fight in the division, and he’s the champ. That really don’t make sense for me… I really don’t care about Conor. I think he’s not true champ. I think the champ’s gonna be me, or Khabib, or Ferguson.”

Until McGregor faces and defeats more of the lightweight division’s top fighters, lots of folks are going to echo Barboza’s sentiments here. In terms of Barboza’s chances of fighting for the interim belt, a lot has to fall into place still before that happens. First and foremost, he needs to get by Dariush, who is an extremely well rounded fighter.

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