Earlier this month, in the main event of the UFC’s latest trip to Mexico, Tony Ferguson outpointed former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos. It was the biggest win of his career, and it thrust him into the uppermost echelon of the lightweight division. In his post-fight interview, however, Ferguson neglected to call out the champion, or even another top-ranked fighter.
During an appearance on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Ferguson explained this strange silence to host Ariel Helwani.
“What else is there to say?” He said. “These dude’s [ranked above me] are not going absolutely anywhere. I’ve cornered them in a spot. They’ve got nowhere to go. You’ve got Conor taking a leave of absence and you’ve got Khabib Nurmagomedov right in front of me. I don’t think [Eddie] Alvarez is in the picture, and I don’t see [Michael Johnson] or anybody else posing a threat. So that’s why I kept kinda quiet, man. For me, I don’t have anything to say, because I didn’t talk my way to where I was at, [it was] through actions. My actions proved more than anything else. I spent twenty odd minutes inside that cage. The one thing I wanted to do was grab a pizza and a beer.”
While Ferguson elected to be relatively silent in his post-fight interview, Khabib Nurmagomedov, who beat Michael Johnson the following weekend, did not. The Dagestan native put UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor on blast in his post fight interview, and generated ample interest in their potential showdown as a result. While Nurmagomedov’s callout generated some substantial buzz, however, it didn’t really worry Ferguson. In fact, Ferguson considered it little more than whining.
“All bullsh*t aside, the guy’s a whiny b*tch. He can whine as much as he wants to,” he said. “People want a real fighter out there fighting for the real championship, and that’s me.”
“I just see him trying to be big, bad and tough, man, and I see him doing that when there’s a bunch of people around. I don’t see too many people doing that when there’s only just me and them inside that Octagon.”
Finally, Ferguson expressed his belief that, despite his claims to the contrary, Nurmagomedov has no interest in fighting him.
“[Khabib is] calling Conor a chicken, and Khabib is running from me, and I’m calling him a chicken,” he said. “It’s a trickle-down effect, but everybody’s scared of the boogeyman. Everybody doesn’t go out in the dark without a flashlight, and I can see in the dark just fine. Khabib, it’s gonna be lights out for him no matter what, guaranteed.”
Who do you think wins a fight between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov? Sound off, PENN Nation!