Conor McGregor is ready to return to the Octagon with Tony Ferguson next in line as his next opponent. UFC President Dana White revealed on Saturday night that McGregor wants to return at the end of the year. Ferguson ideally, could be the next opponent for McGregor. Ferguson became the interim lightweight champion this past Saturday night at UFC 216, submitting Kevin Lee by triangle choke in the third round. Ferguson did not hesitate to call out his longtime rival from Ireland in his post-fight interview.

Dana White is hopeful McGregor vs. Ferguson is next

Dana White hopes the clash can be made for later this year, as it’s a fight that hardcore UFC fans have wanted to see for a number of years now.

“Tony’s the interim champion. Conor’s the champion. That’s the fight that has to happen,” Dana White told reporters after Ferguson won his 10th consecutive UFC fight, improving to 23-3.

“Tony keeps coming forward and Conor’s awesome. There’s no way it’s not a great fight.”

McGregor has plenty of options for his next fight

If the fight between Conor and Ferguson can be made for late this year, it could take place in Las Vegas at UFC 219. Many feel the fight between McGregor and Ferguson is a great fight that needs to happen, but many are also wondering is McGregor willing to fight the most dangerous contender in the lightweight division with other lucrative opportunities awaiting him.

McGregor won the lightweight title last November and took a break from the sport to await the birth of his son. He would then box Floyd Mayweather Jr. on August 26, losing by 10th round stoppage in one of the biggest lucrative combat sports bouts in history. McGregor surprised many with his performance against Mayweather and is actually calling for a rematch with the legendary boxer.

McGregor though has also expressed interests in a trilogy bout with Nate Diaz at 155 pounds. Though there is some difficulty in making that fight a reality with the financial demands of Nate Diaz for a trilogy bout with McGregor. Conor does have plenty options for his next fight. He could return to the boxing ring for a grudge match with retired boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi, a third bout with Nate Diaz, a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr, or perhaps his biggest challenge in the UFC in Tony Ferguson.

Ferguson however, isn’t holding his breath for a shot at McGregor. He believes McGregor is genuinely afraid of him, pointing out that McGregor has hardly mentioned his name in the past. The ball is in McGregor’s court on who will be his next opponent.