Last weekend, the UFC returned to the combat sports mecca of Las Vegas, Nevada with UFC 209. Regrettably, it did so without the card’s originally planned co-main event, an interim lightweight title fight between streaking contender Tony Ferguson and undefeated Dagestani star Khabib Nurmagomedov. This fight was scrapped on the eve of battle when Nurmagomedov was hospitalized in the midst of his cut down to 155 pounds.
Initially, Ferguson seemed quite understanding of Nurmagomedov’s withdrawal from the card. Since then, however, his tone has changed significantly.
“It was very disrespectful and very unprofessional what his camp did, especially after all that was said leading up to the fight,” Ferguson said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour (via MMAFighting.com).
Ferguson then explained that he has little sympathy for Nurmagomedov’s weigh-in difficulties, given that he had a difficult cut of his own, and still managed to find his way onto the scale.
“I felt like sh*t, the right side of my body was hurting, my back was hurting, but you guys never know me to say anything,” Ferguson said. “I had two more pounds to lose in the morning. I went, I lost my weight in the morning, it sucked, we went to the weigh-ins, I did my part, I went on the scale. I went back to the hotel room and said I need to lay down, I don’t feel too good. I don’t know, from just eating and rehydrating too fast or what it was.”
“I found out, too, that [Khabib] was eating tiramisu, a couple weeks ago on Embedded. I’m like, what is this guy doing? Really? It’s plain disrespectful, it’s unprofessional.”
Finally, Ferguson weighed in on his future in the lightweight division, and where Nurmagomedov fits in that future.
“I would love to fight Khabib, but there’s no guarantee he’s going to show up and make the weight.”
“My next fight needs to be a title fight. I’ve earned every single right of the way,” Ferguson continued. “Somebody that’s guaranteed to show up. I’ve done all my homework, I’ve made my ends meet for this fight. But if we’re talking Khabib, there’s got to be some sort of guarantee or insurance for this, man. It’s a crazy bug that I can’t squash and its a tough pill to swallow right now.”
What do you think should be next for Tony Ferguson? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/7/2017.