Ferguson Takes Shots at McGregor, Diaz
Tony Ferguson is still waiting in the wings for his shot at the UFC lightweight championship.
But while he has had his eyes set on lightweight champion Conor McGregor and No. 1-ranked Khabib Nurmagomedov, with no possible bout against those two thus far in the plan books, Ferguson has turned his attention to the rest of the top-10 ranked lightweights. With victories over the likes of Edson Barboza and former champion Rafael dos Anjos, Ferguson could potentially be looking for a fight with a face familiar to McGregor — Nate Diaz.
In a recent appearance on UFC Tonight (via Yahoo Sports), Ferguson said Diaz, who is ranked No. 8 as of April 1, is the only fighter he’d face ranked outside of the top two (the top two ranked spots are held by Nurmagomedov and Ferguson, respectively).
"I’d love to go toe-to-toe with him. For everybody else that’s out there, they probably don’t deserve a shot with me," Ferguson said. "Myself, the fans, and everybody else out there, would love to see that fight. The battle of California baby, let’s do this."
With McGregor on hiatus from the UFC for various reasons, Ferguson and Nurmagomedov were scheduled to meet in the co-main event of UFC 209 to determine an interim lightweight champion. One day before the fight, however, it was announced that Nurmagomedov would have to pull out from the bout due to complications stemming from a bad weight cut.
"I want to fight one of the best fighters in the world that’s out there as far as lightweight contention," Ferguson said. "I’ve put in my time. I’ve put in my numbers."
With McGregor pursuing a big cross-sport fight against boxing icon Floyd Mayweather, Ferguson even called for the lightweight champion to surrender the title in the hopes he can fight for it in July during International Fight Week — one of the biggest weeks in the UFC calendar year.
"If Conor wants to leave the belt, and wants to pursue some sort of victory in the boxing world, which I don’t think he will, the dude’s got a puncher’s chance," Ferguson said. "I mean, vacate the belt right now. Drop it. Leave it where it’s at and we’ll fight for the belt during International Fight Week."