After a lopsided loss to Justin Gaethje put an end to his lengthy and amazing win streak back at UFC 249, Tony Ferguson is ready to rebound. He had been aiming to return at UFC 254, and fight on the same card as Gaethje vs. Khabib, but since that’s not going to happen, it sounds like he’s moving on to what’s next. And he’s bringing some extra venom for the upper echelon at lightweight.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani this week (transcription courtesy of MMAFighting), ‘El Cucuy’ opened up about where his place in the lightweight division lies. And he had a few choice words for former Bellator lightweight king, and recent UFC signing, Michael Chandler.
Ferguson (currently ranked at #3) isn’t impressed by ‘Iron Mike,’ and says the 11-year MMA vet still has dues to pay upon arrival in the Octagon. And while Ferguson is adamant about fighting any of the lightweight elite, he’d also welcome the opportunity to face Chandler.
“Now you’re going to bring in a new dude who I have no clue who this dude is,” he said. “From a marketing standpoint, dude has less than 100k on Twitter. You’re going to try getting him more notoriety by throwing him against me and throwing him on the Khabib card. I get it. But don’t pay him more than us. He has zero time in the UFC.”
“Everybody wants me to fight Khabib, right? Yeah, But I’ve got to earn my right back. OK, cool. Who’s it going to be? It is going to be Dustin? Or is it going to be Chandler? I don’t give a f-ck.
“I said it was a tournament. Now you’re adding in people. Alright, cool. Here we go again. Today marks the celebration, right? Yeah, Khabib and McGregor. F-ck them. That wouldn’t have happened unless they stripped my belt. So, f-ck you. Pay me instead of this clown.”
Ferguson had some words for Gaethje too, saying the interim champ should be thankful for his time in the spotlight, because it isn’t likely to last.
“Justin Gaethje, you’re f-cking welcome you have a belt, son. I guarantee, I’m going to tell you to go get my belt, because your ass is going to get whipped, and I’m coming for it. So both you and ‘fathead’ [Nurmagomedov], this is a message for both knuckleheads: my mat, my f-cking time.”
Ferguson’s professional record currently stands at 25-5. No announcement has been made yet for Ferguson’s next opponent, but he’s at least made it clear that the top end of the division is on watch.