Top ranked UFC lightweight contender Tony Ferguson recently found himself without a fight when his UFC 208 opponent, Khabib Nurmagomedov, was forced out of their co-main event interim lightweight title fight the day before they were set to throw down.
Following Nurmagomedov’s withdrawal from the fight, Ferguson was left without an opponent after he & the UFC were able to reach an agreement over a fill-in opponent on 24 hours notice.
Now, the #2 ranked lightweight is looking for a scrap with lightweight veteran Nate Diaz. He spoke in an interview with MMAJunkie to discuss his desire for a fight with Diaz, and why he feels no one else deserves a fight with him, saying:
“It depends on where your heart is, where his heart is at,” Ferguson said. “I want to fight somebody that wants to fight. I don’t want somebody that’s forced to fight.
“I want to fight a top contender. I’m one of the best fighters in the world as far as lightweight contention. I’ve put in my time; I’ve put in my numbers. If Conor wants to leave the belt and pursue some sort of victory in the boxing world, which I don’t think he is – the dude’s got a puncher’s chance. But (expletive), vacate the belt right now, drop it, leave it where it’s at, and (I’ll) fight for the title (at) International Fight Week against someone else.
“The only person I’d really like to go toe-to-toe with that probably needs some lesson taught to is Nate Diaz. I’d love to go toe-to-toe with him. For anybody else out there, they really don’t deserve a shot at fighting with me. Myself, the fans, everybody else would love to see that fight. Battle of California, baby. Let’s do this.”
While Ferguson currently boasts one of the best win streaks in the UFC’s lightweight division, Diaz is coming off a controversial majority decision loss to Conor McGregor, which saw him return to the loss column after shocking the world and submitting McGregor at UFC 196 in March.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/30/2017.