Tony Ferguson speaks directly to Conor McGregor after UFC 238 victory
'El Cucuy' believes his next UFC fight should be for the lightweight title he has strived towards over the past decade
UFC 238 had two title fights on its main card, in Chicago, but many MMA fans were tracking the event to see Tony Ferguson throw down with Donald Cerrone.
Ferguson is a joy to watch and seems to up his game when the situation gets tough and the bloodlust sets in. Cerrone already had the UFC record for career wins and fight night bonuses so we were due a cracker.
That is exactly what we got. The only shame was when the doctor assigned to the bout stepped in, and rightly so. Already with a broken nose, the right eye of 'Cowboy' was swollen closed by the end of the second round and Ferguson was handed a TKO win.
At the post-fight press briefing, Ferguson, who was stripped of his interim belt last year after picking up an injury on a promotional tour, spoke about his next moves.
He said: "I’ve got 12 (victories) in a row, I should be calling the shots... I don’t know what else I have to do in this division to keep after it. It’s a round robin tournament, but I’m tired of it. I’m here to stay. I am the fucking champ."
Ferguson stuck to his pledge, delivered to Joe Rogan in The Octagon, to give Cerrone a rematch at some stage but his eyes are firmly on the UFC 242 title decider between Dustin Poirier and Khabib Nurmagomedov. He feels Nurmagomedov will have too much for Poirier and claims he is the man to give 'Tiramisu an ass whooping'.
The other big fight on the horizon, if Ferguson is kept from going for the undisputed 155lbs belt is Conor McGregor. The American is no longer managed by Paradigm so, he says, there is no longer a conflict of interest with regards to facing off against 'The Notorious'.
On a 12-fight winning streak, Ferguson even has a tagline for a possible McGregor fight and it is a play on the former champ's whiskey - Improper 13. The following comments were Ferguson speaking directly to McGregor.
"If it’s McNuggets for a money fight, he’s an athlete, too," he said. "I know the division misses him. I’m pretty sure he misses the fight game, too. I mean, seriously, we need to see these fighters keep coming out and represent the sport, because that’s why you got into it. Because you're a fucking athlete, man.
"Keep coming back because when it's your time to retire, go and retire man. But if you've made a name in this sport, and you're able and you're within the age limit, keep fucking competing. I really want to keep doing that."
Just so it was not all sweetness and light, Ferguson admitted he was no fan of McGregor as a person but, as a fighter, he believes the Dubliner is right up there.
"I respect (Conor) as an athlete," he said. "As a person, I think he’s kind of a douche. … I have a new agency now, so there’s no conflict of interest. We’re here to kick some ass. We’re all out of bubble gum."
Ferguson, not for the first time, has done all he can to get himself the biggest and best fights.
Only time will tell who his next opponent will be, but he certainly deserves a shot at the belt.