Tony Ferguson was initially set to face lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov this past weekend at UFC 249 until Nurmagomedov was replaced with Justin Gaethje due to travel restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic, but the fight against Gaethje was also canceled due to the pandemic.
Although he missed out on two fights not only did Ferguson continue to train for a fight, he also continued to cut weight despite there not being a fight on April 18. This past Friday, the day that would’ve been weigh-ins for UFC 249, Ferguson revealed to ESPN that he weighed in at 155 pounds, championship weight.
Making weight for the event that eventually fell through was certainly a statement by Ferguson and it was noticed by former heavyweight champion and ESPN analyst, Daniel Cormier. Cormier is a teammate of Nurmagomedov and on Monday he revealed to ESPN that he was impressed by Ferguson’s actions, saying he doesn’t believe that making weight for a canceled fight is something many fighters would do including his teammate, Nurmagomedov.
"That was a massive, massive statement by Tony Ferguson.”@dc_mma tells @arielhelwani he doesn’t believe there are five fighters on the UFC roster, including himself and Khabib, who would do what @TonyFergusonXT did by continuing to cut weight ⚖️ pic.twitter.com/lXsbRnfvhL
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 20, 2020
“Dude did something that most fighters won’t do. And I’m telling you this right now, I love Khabib but he wouldn’t do that, he wouldn’t make the weight for nothing. He wouldn’t suffer through that for no reason. Conor McGregor, he wouldn’t suffer through that for no reason. Conor was willing to say ‘Hey, great job Tony, put the other guy on the scale.’ but he wouldn’t have done that himself. He wouldn’t have gone down to weight for nothing. All your favorite fighters. Israel Adesanya, even the guy who doesn’t cut that much weight wouldn’t suck himself all the way down to scratch for no reason because mentally it’s so tough to do that, guys don’t do that, Tony Ferguson just did that, that’s a big deal.”
Cormier would go on to tell Ariel Helwani that there may not even be five fighters on the UFC roster who would cut weight for no reason.
“There’s not five. There are some lower-level guys that would do it if you told them they were getting some money but again, there’s a reward at the end of the pot. For nothing, I don’t know who would do that, I know I wouldn’t have, when I was making 205, I would not have sucked myself down to 205 [pounds] for nothing. Why suffer without the reward or ability to compete at the end of the rainbow? I think that was a massive, massive statement by Tony Ferguson. I just think that he shows that dude is in tune with what he wants to be.”
Tony Ferguson making weight for a canceled fight is something that Daniel Cormier doesn’t believe many fighters would do, without getting paid or having any type of reward to follow. Ferguson is reportedly set to face Gaethje on May 9, which is the target date for the UFC to return, but that would mean once again, he’ll have to cut back down to championship weight if the fight happens.