The UFC’s new interim lightweight champ is willing to let Conor McGregor avoid a confrontation by vacating share of the title, but he’d rather deliver an ass-whooping to entertain the masses.
“What (McGregor) needs to do is defend or vacate,” Tony Ferguson told MMAjunkie Radio. “That dude’s got like less than a month. I mean compared to what UFC rules state, he’s got a year to start defending his belt. I’m more then ready for December. He said he wants to fight in 2017. I think the fans deserve it. I think I deserve it.
“What sounds better than 10 consecutive? Eleven, and it’s got Conor’s name written all over that mother(expletive). You guys heard my post-speech. There’s nowhere for him to run, man. He’s got me to deal with, and I’m going to expose that dude.”
Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC), currently ranked No. 2 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, claimed his share of the belt with an impressive win over a very tough Kevin Lee at this past weekend’s UFC 216 event. It was Ferguson’s 10th consecutive victory.
Meanwhile, McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) originally claimed the undisputed belt at this past November’s UFC 205 but hasn’t entered the octagon since, instead taking a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather this past August.
There’s debate about McGregor’s next move, since a trilogy fight with rival Nate Diaz would obviously be a huge pay-per-view event, but UFC President Dana White insisted that wasn’t the current plan, instead pointing to a unification fight with Ferguson as the fight that “has to happen.”
Ferguson agrees, insisting marketability is no way to decide a championship fight.
“It’s not about the money fight,” Ferguson said. “It’s about the pride fight, and this dude’s going to be sitting on the sidelines if he doesn’t want to fight.
“I don’t think he wants that grubby little belt to be in my hands because I’ll enjoy it, and I will defend it. That dude hasn’t defended that belt one time – not one time. I will probably defend my interim belt more times than that dude would ever defend that belt.”
McGregor has stated he’d like to fight at the UFC’s year-end show on Dec. 30, but if that’s to happen, the promotion will need to make arrangements fairly quickly. Ferguson said he’s going to take a few days off for vacation but keep himself in shape and prepared for that very opportunity.
Unless McGregor wants to streamline the whole process and just rid himself of the belt.
“I already told him one time: Just set it down and walk away and nobody will get hurt. But also in every reality, we want the fans to have the fight, and I think the fans deserve it, straight up, because he’s the next one in line, and Khabib (Nurmagomedov) is not there. He’s out of line. He’s not even in the picture.
“So Conor, you need to either (expletive) defend or vacate. You need to get your (expletive) together and come fight me, straight up.”
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