You may remember that Joe Duffy is a former opponent of Conor McGregor, the UFC used this fact as promotion when they first signed the Irish lightweight. Up until meeting Nate Diaz, Duffy was the last man to not only submit McGregor, but beat him in MMA. That was seven years ago back in Cage Warriors, but Duffy still can’t escape being forever entwined with McGregor. He was recently asked who the champ champ should fight next. His answer, like many others, is Tony Ferguson.
“I THINK FOR THE RANKING’S SAKE, I THINK OBVIOUSLY CONOR [MCGREGOR] AGAINST [TONY] FERGUSON IS THE RIGHT MATCH. IT KIND OF LEGITIMIZES THE RANKINGS AGAIN. I BELIEVE THAT’S PROBABLY THE RIGHT MATCH AT THE MINUTE. IT WILL STABILIZE THE DIVISION AGAIN AND AT LEAST WE’LL HAVE A PECKING ORDER AGAIN SO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU STAND AND WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO GET TO THE TOP OF THE PECKING ORDER.”
“[DOES MCGREGOR OWE THE LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION ANYTHING?] NOT REALLY. NOT REALLY. LOOK WHAT HE’S DONE? HE’S DONE AMAZING THINGS. HE’S WON THE FEATHERWEIGHT. OBVIOUSLY JUMPED UP, WON THE LIGHTWEIGHT. CONOR GOES TO BOXING. BUT HE’S DONE A LOT OF WORK HIMSELF ALSO. YOU KNOW, ALL THE MEDIA STUFF AND EVERYTHING ELSE. WHATEVER HIS MOVE IS NEXT, IS GOING TO BE THE BEST MOVE FOR HIM AND THAT’S HIS DECISION TO MAKE.” — JOE DUFFY SPEAKING TO MMA JUNKIE.
More and more as time goes on, it seems like Tony Ferguson is the one who is getting the shot. Joe Duffy also managed to sneak in some unexpected praise for his former opponent. A lot has happened since Conor McGregor and Joe Duffy first met. Their records have both climbed to 17-2 (Duffy) and 21-3 (McGregor) and they’re both on a two-fight win streak. Maybe one day these guys can meet again in the Octagon, but for now Duffy is scheduled to fight James Vick at UFC 217.
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 10/28/2017.