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Tony Ferguson targeting fights with Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier to setup title shot

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Tony Ferguson wants to lay the groundwork for a shot at the winner of Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje.

Tony Ferguson saw his shot at Khabib Nurmagomedov’s UFC lightweight title go up in smoke thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The virus forced Nurmagomedov to stay in Russia and scuppered their scheduled bout. At May’s UFC 249 Ferguson met Justin Gaethje instead, for the interim UFC lightweight title. That didn’t go well for El Cucuy.

Ferguson lost to Gaethje by fifth round TKO. It was his first loss in eight years and broke a streak of 12 straight wins for the TUF 13 winner. Gaethje is now set to face Nurmagomedov for the undisputed title.

Recently Ferguson spoke to ESPN about where he goes from here.

“I’m just anxious for the future. I really am,” Ferguson said (per MMAFighting). “They know how hungry and eager I am in the UFC.”

Ferguson named former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor and former interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier as potential match-ups to help him get back in the 155 lb title hunt.

“You want to give me Conor [McGregor], give me Conor,” he said. “You want to give me [Dustin] Poirier, we’ll make it happen and then we’ll fight and then we’ll fight the winner of the Gaethje and Khabib fight.”

“They’re both decent fighters,” continued Ferguson—referring to McGregor and Poirier.

“They’re both good. We’re all elite in the top five for a reason. As far as fights go, if Conor wants to fight, I’m down for that. I’d love to fight a southpaw. I do really well, I knocked out Aaron Riley’s jaw on accident. When it comes down to fighting standup, you’ve got to remember when I fought Edson Barboza. It’s a lot different.

“This mix and matching kind of stuff, that if it does happen again, I’m cool, man. I’m already used to it. It doesn’t matter. Opponent switches, COVID, anything else wants to pop up, let’s go, we’re used to it now.”

Ferguson reiterated his desire to face McGregor, Poirier and Nurmagomedov above all others and said the reason for this was purely because of their talent-level.

“Not because of any other ways or means. Because of the talent and the athletic respect that I have for their talent that they have in this sport.”