Tony Ferguson, one of the top lightweights in MMA today, and one half of UFC 216’s interim lightweight title fight, has always danced to the beat of his own drum. And in an era where many fighters are looking to follow in the footsteps of MMA superstar Conor McGregor, he vows to keep doing just that.
Speaking to FloCombat, Ferguson assured that he will keep being himself, even if it means he’s not as marketable as he could be.
“Unfortunately, in our industry and in America, we like people that have accents, we like things that are different,” Ferguson said. “Which is not a bad thing, because I love being different. But for me, I’m not going to try to sell something that’s not me. I’m going to keep being me. I’m going to keep being gritty, dorky, awesome, sexy and f*cking amazing, a f*cking badass hard worker, whatever you want to call it. I’m going to keep being me.”
In fact, Ferguson was even hoping to avoid trash talk with his UFC 216 opponent, Kevin Lee – though that’s starting to look unlikely.
“This guy [Lee] has got a big f**king mouth,” Ferguson explained. “And all I want to do is I want him to understand that you’ve got to earn where you go. You have to earn your place. You’re No. 7. I’m No. 2.”
“I hope it is fun,” Ferguson continued. “Straight up, I wanted to be cool, I wanted to be happy and have fun. I’m tired of that hate that’s out there. We’ve got way too much of that sh*t out there. Let’s make this fun.”
Whatever the case, Ferguson is expecting a dominant win over Lee at UFC 216, which would of course earn him the interim lightweight belt.
“I can take him down and let him up, take him down, and let him up and fight this guy technically. Then he’ll realize that the best person is the one in front of him, and then he’ll give me respect. But until then, we’re probably going to have beef between us.”
UFC 216 goes down on October 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Do you think Tony Ferguson wins interim gold at the event?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/4/2017.