UFC 209: Why An Interim Lightweight Title Fight Makes Sense

On March 4, Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov will throw down for the interim lightweight title at UFC 209.

UFC 209 is shaping up to be quite the pay-per-view. With the co-main event being for an interim title many fans were skeptical. Although it may not seem right to some, the interim title for this fight is actually a great idea.

There aren’t many fights that deserve an interim title, however, this fight is the best interim title fight yet. Many of the recent interim title fights were late replacements to keep pay-per-view’s interesting. Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson has been brewing for a while, and they are leagues above the rest of the lightweight contenders.

One of the biggest reasons this fight took so long to happen was Ferguson was holding out for a bigger payday. Whenever a title is on the line, fighters end up getting paid more. By adding an interim title, Ferguson was finally able to receive pay he deemed appropriate.

It’s no secret that Nurmagomedov and Ferguson are the two highest ranked fighters in the lightweight division. It’s no secret that the interim title is really just the number-one contender belt, and with the number-one and number-two fighters going at it, it truly is a fight for top contendership.

This fight is one of the most interesting matchups booked in years, and with the fight was set to go just three rounds, it would be a shame for all the fans. The interim title makes this fight a five-round fight, and with the main event already scheduled for five rounds, this was the only way to secure 25 minutes of action between the two men.

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With the UFC looking to make the highest selling pay-per-view possible, a fight for the interim title between two number one contenders boosts this event considerably. With a co-main event set for five rounds of war with a title on the line, this fight truly improves this pay-per-view from average to excellent.

The interim title could end up being defended as the newly crowned champion Conor McGregor is currently on hiatus, with no confirmed return date. From 10 months to much shorter, the rumors have covered every timeframe. With the lightweight division full of top level talent and contenders, the interim title could be useful in making sure the division doesn’t get jammed up in McGregor’s absence.

While interim titles are not much to get excited over, there isn’t a more exciting or deserving fight in the UFC worthy of the secondary belt. Come March 4, the world will truly find out who the number-one contender is in the lightweight division and why five rounds of war are truly worth it for UFC 209’s co-main event.

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