It’s been common practice in the UFC to have a back-up fighter around, in case one of their headliners suddenly pulls out. It is likely the case for the upcoming UFC 242 main event clash between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier this Saturday, September 7th, in Abu Dhabi.
One of those possible replacement fighters was Tony Ferguson, a contender many believes is deserving of the next title shot. “El Cucuy,” however, isn’t willing to be one.
“I would love to go, (but) first of all I’m not back-up for anybody,” Ferguson said on Monday’s episode of The MMA Show on ESPN (transcript via BJPenn.com). “I’ve got twelve fights in a row dude, f—k that. They were talking about something, I was kinda interested, but at the end of the day I’m not here to be a back-up.”
“Like I said, I have a belt, I won twelve in a row. The next fight that I have is for the belt,” he continued. “It’s going to have to have a lot of build up, especially for the fans. It’s got to have the hype, man. It deserves a full camp and lead up time, you know what I’m talking about.”
Ferguson’s 12th straight victory happened at UFC 238 in June, where he defeated Donald Cerrone via second-round TKO. Both men were also awarded an extra $50,000 apiece for Fight of the Night honors.