On Sunday, April 1, news broke that the interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson wouldn’t be able to compete at UFC 223 PPV main event against Khabib Nurmagomedov, due to torn LCL which was the result of a trip at Fox Studios and would be replaced by Max Holloway. White also confirmed that Ferguson will be stripped of his interim lightweight title.
“El Cucuy” confirmed on social media that he tore a ligament in his knee. He expressed his frustration and apologized to Nurmagomedov, the promotion, and fans.
Today Ferguson spoke with MMA Hour, revealing, he is very disappointed with UFC after hearing the that he will be stripped of interim title:
“I haven’t spoken with the UFC yet about what’s next,” Ferguson said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “So when I saw what was in the [ESPN] interview, it shocked me, man, it hurt me even more. It was something I couldn’t control with this injury. This all started snowballing this weekend, man. Of all weekends. The UFC hasn’t said anything to me about my title going away, and I don’t think it will go away.
“You shouldn’t strip a champion due to a freak injury that happened during a UFC-obligated media event,” Ferguson said.
“El Cucuy” detailed the accident that led to the withdrawal from schedule bout against Khabib for the fourth time.
“I tweeted this happened on Friday, but it actually happened on Thursday when I was doing my media obligations for UFC. I was walking to say [hello] to a FOX crew member and I walked and I slipped on one of those big black thick cords on the production studio. It was dark, hard to see and I wasn’t wearing my shades, I actually had my prescription sunglasses on. That was when I was about to do my interview on ‘The Herd’ with Kristin.
“It was just a matter of, I slipped, man,” Ferguson said. “I heard it pop. Once we got back to the car after FOX interviewed us, I turned to my wife to tell her what happened, and she was concerned. I had a couple of my team members, and UFC staff with me. Afterwards I went home and did a pool workout and I felt tension and danger in my workout. I woke up on Friday with some pain and I still tried to push through it. You guys know me, I’m tough. I tried to train later that evening after taking a day of rest but my knee locked up.
“I woke up Saturday with even more pain, but I tried to push through it and train again,” Ferguson said. “But it locked up on me, my knee was giving out a few times, and slowly it dawned on me, I knew something was f*cked up and more serious.”
Ferguson admitted he needs a medical procedure after seeing his MRI results, as he completely ruptures his LCL.
“I’m not a doctor, but when I saw the MRI on this, it looked like a flag, my ligament, it was hanging on the side of the bone. I wanted them to shoot me with a numbing shot, or whatever, but they said it would blow up my whole entire knee. I have a ruptured LCL ligament, is what they told me.
“According to the doctor, it’s off the fibula bone,” he continued. “Athletes with LCL sprains can usually heal in a few weeks if they stay off it. I got one doc who says I need surgery, I got one who says I have other options so they are going to send me to a specialist to see what I need to do. So I am fighting to be back in less than a year.”
The fourth cancellation of their bout rocked the MMA world, with many fans claiming the fight is cursed.
As for the latest chaos due to cancelation, Ferguson says it’s a fight that still needs to happen despite the unsteady history.
“I don’t think there is a black cloud or a curse or anything like that, even though it’s hard to deny four canceled matches with myself and Khabib. It definitely sucks and everyone wants this fight. Seriously, shit happens,” he added. “I have an amazing family and team and I am blessed. That is what really matters to me in life. We are 2-2 in pulling out of this fight, the pull out game is strong. All jokes aside, sometimes coincidences just causes all of this. I don’t think the fight is cursed but we need to prove that.”
As for booking a fight for the fifth time, it’s not happening as UFC president Dana White confirmed yesterday, that he will never book this showdown ever.
Ferguson went to say, hope UFC do the right thing with his interim tile.
“I mean seriously, there is a precedent for having a fight for a “real” title and keeping an “interim” title intact,” Ferguson said. “They just did that with Robert Whittaker last year.
“I just hope they do the right thing.”