Ferguson: McGregor Has To Defend Or Relinquish
With UFC 216 rapidly approaching it seems that Tony Ferguson may be looking past his main event opponent, Kevin Lee and squarely at the current lightweight champion, Conor McGregor. During Thursday’s conference call for the October 7th event, Ferguson started to bait his possible opponent.
“The next fight for Conor should be whoever wins this interim lightweight title. Regardless of winning or losing this, myself or if it’s Kevin Lee, that b*tch (McGregor) needs to defend or vacate and he needs to unify that belt. Anything else, with as far as him trying to fight Nate and everything else, that’s the bullsh*t rankings and everything else that the UFC stands for just [going] out the window, man.”
Ferguson has wins over Josh Thomson, Edson Barboza, and former champion Rafael dos Anjos, among others on his road to a title shot. Conversely John Kavanagh, McGregor’s head coach suggested Wednesday that following Mayweather vs. McGregor, his athlete is now focusing only on “doing fights because they’re fun” rather than booking matchups based on divisional merit.
Ferguson not only claims rights on the division, but calls out Diaz’ standing in the UFC rankings.
“This has been my division before McNuggets even stepped into this b*tch,” Ferguson said. “Even when I was at Paradigm Sports Management, he signed up at 145 pounds. The agreement was he wasn’t going to come up to 155 pounds, but that raised a conflict of interest and I’m pissed, so that b*tch needs to fight me or he needs to fight the guy that’s holding the belt… I mean, really? You have rankings for a reason… You have an interim belt for a reason — so you can unify the thing. The guy (Diaz) is what, a top-10 (lightweight)? Not even a top-five? Kevin Lee’s got more heart than Nate, and I have more heart than this whole entire division. So if they want to put that fight together, then that’s great, but you know the fans will be pissed, because obviously they know that f*cking Diaz and Conor is going to make a lot of money, but the real righteous thing to do is to make sure the belts become unified. That’s what really needs to happen.”
Whether or not Ferguson walks out with the interim title in Las Vegas, he has a feeling that no matter what happens in the Octagon, the winner will have to wait a while.
“Money talks, bullsh*t walks, man. So obviously they’re going to protect their pocket and they’re going to keep McNuggets away from a real contender… Real belt or no belt, it doesn’t matter what anybody says, this is a belt that’s going to have to be unified, otherwise he’s going to have to defend or vacate.”
Ultimately, Ferguson acknowledged that the entire discussion is pointless if he falters against Lee, so for now his aim lies solely on pushing his streak to 10 straight wins at UFC 216.
Then, and only then, will he allow himself to worry about McGregor’s infamous red panty nights and what comes next.
“I don’t like red. I like blue. That’s my color. But red panty, green panty, it don’t f*cking matter… “Whoever they put in front of me. And my first manager told me, ‘Tony, you make your money by winning,’ and that’s Brock Lesnar’s manager. He told me, ‘Don’t even worry about anything else, everything is going to fall into place.’ And I done kept that same attitude. I signed with my management and I kept the same attitude and I’m not changing any time soon.”