On Saturday night, in the co-main event of UFC 229, former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson made a successful return to action after a long layoff, picking up an impressive win over the former champion Anthony Pettis. Not long thereafter, in the card’s main event, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor to retain his title.
Shortly after Nurmagomedov bested McGregor, the pair’s team engaged in a wild brawl inside and outside of the Octagon. Having witnessed this chaotic and unsportsmanlike scene, Tony Ferguson believes that neither Nurmagomedov nor McGregor is deserving of the UFC lightweight belt. In his opinion, he himself is the true lightweight champ.
“I’m the f*cking champ. You guys realize that, right?,” Ferguson said at the UFC 229 post-fight press conference (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I’ve been the champ. I am the champ. You have these two knuckleheads over there making this sport look bad. … I don’t have a belt up here, I don’t need to have a belt up here to be the champ. So if you guys want to feed that, go ahead, put that in your pocket and take it with you.
“But what I’m doing here is cleaning up the sport. This is an Olympic-level type of sport and it needs to be cleaned up. I’ve been training like an Olympian. I’ve took so many different things out of my life that I didn’t need anymore and I just felt lifted. So awesome. Such a great feeling.”
Tony Ferguson continued:
“When this stuff happens in different sports, it puts a bad taste in it,” he said. “But we’re trying to clean it up and we’re trying to clean it up as much as possible. That’s not for me anymore, I don’t have to get all crazy on it.
“If there’s another fighter in front of me, which I hope is Khabib or Conor — I even call him Conor, I’ll give him that respect — I don’t have to call them ‘tiramisu’ or ‘McNuggets’ because I have all the sauce, and I’m very sweet.”
What do you think of these comments from Tony Ferguson?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/7/2018.