Back in early March, streaking lightweight contender Tony Ferguson was expected to battle Khabib Nurmagomedov for interim lightweight gold. Unfortunately, Nurmagomedov was forced out of this fight just hours out from the scheduled time of battle.
When Nurmagomedov withdrew from the fight, and Ferguson was left without an opponent, an opportunistic Michael Johnson stepped up and offered to fight Ferguson on just hours notice, giving him the opportunity to avenge a 2012 loss. For Ferguson, however, this was not the right choice. The top-ranked lightweight elected not to risk his contendership status in a last minute battle with an opponent that could not be more different from the one he had been training for, and was subsequently removed from the card.
While this might seem like a fairly reasonable choice on Ferguson’s part, it generated some backlash from other members of the MMA community – including Johnson.
The latest member of the MMA community to speak against Ferguson’s choice not to accept this short notice fight, however, is the head coach of undisputed lightweight champion and MMA megastar Conor McGregor, John Kavanagh.
Kavanagh questioned Ferguson’s cojones on Twitter.
if a late notice change of opponent puts you off then MMA will be a difficult sport for you considering how common it is. Tennis perhaps?
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) May 30, 2017
“If a late notice change of opponent puts you of then MMA will be a difficult sport for you considering how common it is,” Kavanagh said. “Tennis perhaps?”
This comment from Kavanagh prompted a response from a fired up Ferguson, who accused him of riding McGregor’s coattails.
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) May 30, 2017
“Trainers like you callin’ themselves coach,” Ferguson said of Kavanagh. “When all they do is ride coattails and try to claim. Maintain your lane bitch.”
What do you think of this back-and-forth between John Kavanagh and Tony Ferguson?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/31/2017.