Although Tony Ferguson is happy to finally be facing the top-ranked Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight interim championship showdown at UFC 209, ‘El Cucuy’ has concerns about the future of the division.
Current champ Conor McGregor, who captured the belt after finishing Eddie Alvarez with a four punch combination at UFC 205, is expected to take some time off from the sport to support his family. The Irishman is expecting his first child in the coming months, and no one’s sure exactly how long he’ll be sitting out.
To add to that, ‘The Notorious’ has continued to entertain a boxing mega-fight with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr., which would only further delay his return to the Octagon.
Ferguson, who is ranked as the No. 2 lightweight contender in the world, called McGregor a ‘little b*tch’ and said he doesn’t think he’ll defend the 155-pound title.
“Is Conor gonna defend his belt, that little bitch? Probably not,” Ferguson told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto on Thursday (h/t Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting). “He’s gonna run. Go ahead. Go run. Go try to box. You’ll get your ass kicked too. And when you’re ready to come back, they’re gonna strip your belt and at 155, I’m gonna be holding it and you’re gonna be like, ‘Oh I want my belt back’ and this and that. I don’t give a shit. The fight, the real fight, is between Conor? No. Conor, sorry buddy. The fight’s between Khabib and Ferguson.”
All business Ferguson pic.twitter.com/YNIeHeNg38— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) January 19, 2017
Ferguson, 32, is on a nine-fight win streak and looks to be entering the prime of his athletic career. The California-based talent last fought at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 Finale, where he outclassed ex-lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos in the main event.
His bout with Nurmagomedov, which will feature as the co-main event for UFC 209, takes place March 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.