At the first stop of the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor world tour in Los Angeles on Tuesday, top ranked UFC lightweight Tony Ferguson managed to work his way into the media section for the event.
When Conor McGregor came out on-stage, ‘El Cucuy’ said Conor McGregor quickly noticed him as the only one wearing sunglasses indoors, but was quick to break eye contact. While McGregor of course was likely still adjusting to the very different boxing-style press conference as opposed to the usual UFC style press conference, Ferguson says there was no doubt that McGregor noticed him.
He spoke to MMAJunkie:
“He looks at me for a split-second, and I can tell that (expletive) saw the real ghost. He looked away so fast.”
“I’m a Mayweather fan, personally,” he said. “Hit and not get hit.”
“I love that, because he knows I’m there,” Ferguson said. “I could be a much worse heel if I really wanted to, but it’s not my style. I’m going to be me; I’m not going to be Conor.”
“You’re putting the lightweight division on stall,” Ferguson said. “Conor’s not defending the belt. He wants to go on to other ventures. That’s fine. Defend or vacate.”
Ferguson of course was set for an interim lightweight title fight at UFC 209 in February, however a medial situation saw his opponent, lightweight #1 contender Khabib Nurmagomedov, pull out of the fight the day of weigh-ins after being taken to the hospital.
While that fight has been booked, and scrapped, several times, both Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov seem in agreement that the fight needs to take place to not only crown the lightweight #1 contender, but also settle their ongoing rivalry.
“The draw of the Khabib fight would be huge,” he said. “This would be awesome. I think fans have deserved this fight.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/13/2017.