Top UFC lightweight contender Tony Ferguson has a bone to pick with the media covering mixed martial arts.
Ferguson will return to the cage this weekend, in the co-main event of UFC 256, where he’ll take on surging submission specialist Charles Oliveira. The bout will mark his opportunity to rebound from a May stoppage loss to Justin Gaethje, which derailed a fantastic, 12-fight unbeaten streak.
Despite the massive success Ferguson has had in the UFC lightweight division, he’s yet to challenge for the division’s undisputed title. He views that as the fault—at least in part—of the MMA media, who he feels don’t support him enough.
“Where’s my title shot? Where’s all my stuff that’s supposed to be ‘owed’ to me?” Ferguson told Aaron Bronsteter of TSN (via TheBodyLock). “Nothing’s owed to you. You got to earn it, and I keep my earning my way to victory every single time. But nobody speaks up. You guys don’t speak up because you guys are getting paid by Conor [McGregor]. You guys are getting paid by Proper 12 and all that other bulls**t.
“You guys got that f**king facade over your face,” Ferguson continued. “You guys don’t want to speak up for me and be like, ‘yo, give Tony the f**king title shot.’ You guys got umpteen amount of time to talk to Dana but you guys aren’t speaking up for me. You guys are watching me get f**ked over left and right by my old management companies. Nobody’s saying sh*t right but yet here I am saving the f**king day [at UFC 249] and making sure everyone’s got entertainment in the world and then taking heat afterwards saying, ‘why didn’t you win?’”
McGregor, the biggest star in MMA history and the object of much Ferguson’s scorn, is slated to return to the Octagon in the main event of UFC 257 on January 23, when he takes on Dustin Poirier. Ahead of that fight, Ferguson is imploring the media to focus less on the Irishman, and more on other established contenders in the jam-packed lightweight division.
“I would just say stop kissing so much ass,” Ferguson said. “Saying Conor’s name. I’m going to be real — the guy hasn’t competed in how long? You’re saying there’s not a household name (in these cards) because the name that’s in your guys’ mouth [is Conor]. You guys aren’t putting the other names out there. You’re not giving a chance for these other athletes like myself or Charles Oliveira. You guys are putting in people like [Michael] Chandler who did what for the UFC? Now he’s got a top three position. Get the f*ck out of here.”
While Ferguson raises some fair concerns, it’s worth noting that many members of the MMA community—some members of the media included—were against his taking the short-notice fight with Gaethje back in May, arguing that he should have waited for his thoroughly deserved crack at the undisputed champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov instead.
Do you think these comments from Tony Ferguson are justified?