Tony Ferguson fell to Michael Chandler two weeks ago on the main card of UFC 274. The loss, which came via a stunning front kick KO, was Ferguson’s fourth defeat in a row.
This week Ferguson appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss that fight and a host of other topics.
When discussing what might be next for him, Ferguson talked about a potential fight with Conor McGregor. During this part of the conversation, Ferguson claimed he’d wanted to fight the former champion for a while, but that it had been illegal for him to do so.
Ferguson explained that the legal issue was due to him being signed to Paradigm Sports, a company that also represents McGregor. Ferguson left that company in 2019.
“There’s a Miller-Ayala act that says an active agent is not allowed to compete in the same sport as the person you’re representing,” said Ferguson (ht Sportskeeda). “I would ask my management if he [McGregor] was the owner of the company. They kept straight up lying to me. They lied to me alot... Everyone else is telling me he is, but they’re telling me he isn't... There’s a lot of things going on and some people are probably gonna get called to court.”
It has been long suspected that McGregor parlayed his record income from the UFC into an ownership stake in Paradigm. However, this has not been officially confirmed by Paradigm CEO Audie Attar. McGregor and Attar are partners in the company Eire Born Spirits, which is responsible for the Proper Twelve brand of whiskey.
McGregor hinted at his deeper involvement with Paradigm during an online squabble with Michael Bisping. During that spat McGregor claimed he earned money whenever Bisping, who is repped by Paradigm, fought.
With ‘El Cucy’ no longer signed to Paradigm, there’s one less hurdle in the way of a potential fight with ‘Notorious’.
When expressing his desire to fight McGregor, Ferguson added that another reason he’s eager to fight the Irishman is because he’s encroached on his turf.
“I would love to fight Conor if he still has his academy by my spot because that’s what he ended up doing. He ended up opening up an academy right near me. My neighbors come up to me and they’re like, ‘Hey, do you know that Conor is right next to you?’ I crack up because that’s how he is. The dude is so unhappy that he has to copy everybody’s stuff to find happiness. And maybe he’s doing it on purpose. Maybe it’s because he admires me and what I do.”
McGregor’s last Octagon appearance ended in a horrific leg injury versus Dustin Poirier. That TKO loss was McGregor’s second loss to Poirier in 2021. In 2020 McGregor scored a win over Donald Cerrone. That was McGregor’s first victory since 2016.
Before his losing streak began in 2020, Ferguson had won 12 fights in a row and scored impressive victories over Rafael dos Anjos, Anthony Pettis and Edson Barboza.