Tony Ferguson, the interim lightweight champ admits that the current uncertainty regarding the title picture in the UFC’s lightweight division has left him pissed.
Ferguson is due to return to action in April against undefeated Russian contender Khabib Nurmagomedov for a headline bout at UFC 223.
Still, the confusion reigns in the lightweight division following a press conference in Boston last Friday, where UFC brass Dana White said that the winner of the aforementioned fight will become the undisputed lightweight champion. However, said in the past that he would be stripped Conor Mcgregor of the belt if he doesn’t defend it soon.
“We’ll see what happens,” was the Dana White’s response when questioned about the current status of Conor McGregor, who hasn’t competed in MMA since winning the lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 back in 2016.
Tony Ferguson voiced his frustration about an unclear picture of title situation.
“Yeah, it bothers me. It bothers the sh*t out of me, dude,” Ferguson admitted Monday on The MMA Hour. “Straight up. I’m the f*cking champ and we don’t know if we’re fighting for the real belt or not. What the f*ck is that? Dana White is telling us one thing on one [side] of the curtain and on the other side he’s saying, ‘No, Conor McGregor is the champion. Go and do your homework.’ And I love Dana, man, but I’m like, ‘What the f*ck, dude? Am I not the champ or am I the champ? Do you want to hype me up or do you not want to hype me up for this fight?’”
“As far as what they told me in the contract, that’s what they were telling me. They were saying, ‘Look, you guys are fighting for the undisputed title,’” Ferguson said. “That was right before they told me that I was going to fight Conor McGregor. And then just a whole bunch of sh*t just went down, and I was like, ‘You know what, I have a manager to help me deal with this.’ But in speculation, what happened was they offered me a fighter that didn’t want to fight. I don’t know if it was a contract issue or what it was, but the dude didn’t seem interested. He doesn’t seem interested, to the public and to anybody else, to defend his belt.
“Management presented me with the opportunity and the contract, and they told me the benefits and the negatives if I was going to sign up for it, and then I was like, ‘Well sh*t man, is this b*tch going to even sign up?’ They were like, ‘Probably not. Nope. He’s too busy,’ or some bullsh*t, whatever. Not even in their words.”
Tony Ferguson, whose interim title win over Kevin Lee last October was his 10th consecutive victory, revealed that even his behind-the-scenes requests for clarity from UFC executives were unsuccessful.
“It was almost like they were kind of embarrassed to ask or to be questioned,” Ferguson said “They didn’t know what the f*ck was going on. It was kind of like, ‘Well sh*t, what’s going on?’
“Look, I understand that there’s business, and there’s probably big business to have to do with McGregor, but that has nothing to do with myself or my family. He does not make our world go around, that’s what I’m trying to say. I have 10 fights in a row that I have won via my coaches and my teammates and my family, not even in that order. Even before that, I knocked out everybody at 170 pounds. I’m a fight finisher. I’m a fan pleaser. And I go out there and I make people bloody. I’m the worst nightmare for anybody that steps inside that Octagon, and I am the f*cking champ.”
“Trust me, this whole situation … it kinda sucks,” Ferguson said. “But I’ve been excited about this fight for a very long time. I don’t want to fight against somebody that doesn’t want to fight, as I’ve said before. But once the fight was decided and my opponent was given, my main focus is on the guy in front of me. To me, this is the real fight, this is for the real belt. I’m the current champ. I might not always be given the respect that I should have, but it’s what fuels me. I can’t be ignored forever, and I’m going to derail this hype train. I’m going to clip that eagle’s wings.”
Do you think Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov should fight for the undisputed title at UFC 223?