This Saturday night Tony Ferguson will meet Kevin Lee in the main event of UFC 216 to determine who will walk away with the UFC interim lightweight title. Tragedy struck in Las Vegas on Sunday when lone gunman Stephen Paddock killed 58 concertgoers and injured more than 500.
Despite the worst shooting in modern American history taking place, the UFC organization will move forward with the pay-per-view event in Las Vegas less than a week later. But, even with the UFC’s decision to continue on, the main event might have almost been cancelled as Ferguson’s family almost found themselves in the line of fire. Luckily they are safe and unharmed, however if they were injured or worse, Ferguson would have likely removed himself from the card to be with his family during their time of need.
MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani spoke Ferguson who was in Las Vegas before the horrific shooting occurred to talk about the scary and emotional experience.
Tony Ferguson’s reaction to Las Vegas shooting:
“It sucks man. My family just got out of church. My wife, and her parents, and my son. They love music. When they got done with church they were going to head over to the fair. I was just getting done with recovery at Complete Wellness out here in Las Vegas and I was on my way to go get food. We went to the store to go get food for the cooler. And my wife tells me, ‘don’t come back.’ Then my brother-in-law hits me and up and said, ‘you heard all this stuff?’ And multiple people. It was just a crazy plethora of thoughts and things. I’m just so surprised they are still allowing this fight. I mean, that just kind of says something where it’s like, when you lose and then you win your next fight, you’re only as good as your last fight. Instead of forgetting it, I’m bringing it with me. I’m bringing all that, the people that were harmed, that were injured, that are not here anymore. The people that went through the bullshit that had that sense of security missing. It’s bullshit man.”
When asked if he would rather not fight on Saturday, Ferguson said, “I have to be professional about it.”
Helwani then asked, “Is your heart into it?”
“Of course, I’m not gonna let this guy beat me. I’m very focused. I’ve very honed in. I have the ability to take the chaos and mold it like I said.”