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26th Jan 2016

Tony Ferguson responds to claim Conor McGregor cost him a lightweight title shot


Patrick McCarry

A seven fight winning streak in the lightweight division was not enough to convince the UFC brass.

On March 5, in Las Vegas, Conor McGregor will fight Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight strap.

On the same UFC 197 night, Tony Ferguson will get a rematch against a man who beat him in 2012. It was the last time ‘El Cucuy’ was defeated but, it must be noted, he finished the fight with a broken arm.

Ferguson’s winning run has included taking the scalps of Danny Castillo and Edson Barboza and propelled him up to fifth in the UFC’s lightweight rankings.

MMA Hour host Ariel Helwani spoke with Ferguson on Monday and addressed the rumour that McGregor’s step up from featherweight cost him a title shot against RDA.

He commented, “I don’t know man. I’m not told anything about title shots. After the Edson fight, I went up to Dana White and said, ‘Who’s next?’

“He just said, ‘Enjoy your vacation kid.”

Ferguson added, “[When McGregor got the title shot] I was a little upset but I wasn’t upset as… like I’ve said, I’m leaving my legacy in this division and in this Ultimate Fighter realm like I said I would – by picking guys apart one at a time.

The 31-year-old also cryptically hinted that he would be placed beside McGregor at the post-fight press conference at UFC 197, which could set the scene for a lightweight fight later in the year.

UFC 181 - Ferguson v Trujillo

Ferguson, who previously stated he would finish McGregor in the first round of any potential bout, also spoke about being signed up to the same United States’ management company as ‘The Notorious’.

Ferguson said, “I’m a businessman. I’m here to stack my chips and move on.

“Right now, I honestly don’t think that Conor is in my league in terms of what we’ve got going on. My plans are different and I’m on a different timeline.

“Like I said, if he wants to stay at 155 I will take whatever he wants to do. That would be a great fight. He has some great talent and, with my skills and his skills, it would make for a super fight.

“I wouldn’t take anything other than the main event. You’d have to call it a super-fight. I am a super fighter and there is no-one else on my level.