Tony Ferguson has a tough test in front of him at UFC 249 with Justin Gaethje. Still, because his original opponent was supposed to be Khabib Nurmagomedov, and for some reason, Conor McGregor’s name is in the mix he has to entertain questions about them. Gaethje is still sort of a short-notice opponent, but he is not someone to look past, so Ferguson dismisses both Nurmagomedov and McGregor as challenges.
In an appearance on “First Take” Ferguson addressed his view on both men. “That dude doesn’t exist to me anymore,” Ferguson said of Nurmagomedov. He added, “I told him he should sit it down and walk away, they should strip him of his title.” Nurmagomedov left the country when the pandemic began in March and as travel restrictions started happening, getting the two lightweights together became difficult. Because of his exit, Ferguson feels he does not want to fight.
“It really doesn’t matter about Khabib anymore.” – Tony Ferguson
“I’m not going to fight this guy if he doesn’t want to fight,” Ferguson said of how Nurmagomedov handled his side of UFC 249. He said Gaethje is the only fighter that is willing to face him and, “It really doesn’t matter about Khabib anymore.” His thoughts on McGregor were similar.
When asked about a match up with McGregor, Ferguson said he has no interest. “He was an athlete when I first met him,” Ferguson said but cited McGregor’s money and troubles as to why he has no interest in him. “That’s not someone I want to compete against,” Ferguson continued, “He’s a good athlete, but he’s not on the radar.”
Ferguson and Gaethje headline UFC 249 and the winner will likely face the current champ or have a money fight with McGregor. The pandemic has changed a lot of plans so the fights that seem to be able to fire off sooner than later, are the ones getting made.
Don’t be surprised if these four men’s names are still spoken in the same stories this year.
Edward holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Along with over 30 years of martial arts experience, he co-hosts The Coast-2-Coast Combat Hour podcast, and also writes for Spectation Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel