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Interview: Tony Ferguson blasts Khabib Nurmagomedov for rib injury 'excuse,' will 'finish' Edson Barboza anyway

"El Cucuy" recently spoke to MMAmania.com about his thoughts on the "The Eagle's" injury, as well as what "Junior" brings to the table for their The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 22 Finale co-main event spot later tonight (Fri., Dec. 11, 2015).

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Forgive No. 7-ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight contender Tony Ferguson from celebrating, but he's one of the most dangerous men in the 155-pound division.

Ferguson has won nine of 10 since debuting in UFC, when he captured The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 13 crown back in June 2011.

"I'm a Corona guy. I like Patron shots, but I like to get some food in me beforehand," Ferguson told MMAmania.com. "I like to do cookies ... or a sweet. After my fight with [Gleison] Tibau, I had Girl Scout cookies. One of my other fights, I wanted a root beer. After my last one, my buddy got me a maple-glazed bacon donut."

Wanting a bit of a break when it comes to food after a fight is normal for most mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters ... until you overdue it.

Ferguson jokingly told close friends and teammates that he would balloon up to 200 pounds following his nineteenth professional victory over Josh Thomson last July.

And he did.

"I floated up to 201 pounds. I was a fatass and I put on a bunch of muscle weight preparing for a certain other person," Ferguson said.

That certain other person just so happens to be undefeated Dagestani grappler Khabib Nurmagomedov, who cited a broken rib as his reason for pulling out of a planned TUF 22 Finale co-main event against "El Cucuy" in late October.

Initially, it seemed as if all was good between Ferguson and "The Eagle," however after a recent Instagram photo depicting what the latter deemed "light training" surfaced, all bets were off.

"I've had hurt ribs and I've had broken arms in fights and still kicked ass and came out victorious. These dudes are using excuses, man," Ferguson said. "Khabib Nurmagomedov just posted up that he's already in training.

Hey homie, if you don't want to fight me. That's fine, but don't make up excuses saying that you broke your ribs and other things just to get out of a fight to protect your record."

Edson Barboza has since been tapped to replace the downed Sambo master opposite Ferguson in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the FOX Sports 1-televised co-main event later this evening.

"Junior" is 1-1 thus far in 2015, having started off the year with a competitive loss to Michael Johnson in February before rebounding with a spectacular striking showing over Paul Felder back in July.

Barboza's signature victory was a three-round romp over Strikeforce import Bobby Green little more than 12 months ago.

"He's a trickster and he's got good stuff. He's got decent footwork and some great kicks," Ferguson said. "I think my punches and wrestling are better. I know my wrestling is better than everyone's in the Lightweight division, I just don't ever use it."

He may very well not need it against the Brazilian Muay Thai machine Barboza, but anything is possible.

Ferguson's confidence is at an all-time high ... and for good reason. His last Octagon outing was a three-round mauling of "The Punk" this past summer at UFC Fight Night 71.

However, Ferguson hopes to avoid a 15-minute contest this time out that way he can get back to celebrating in an even bigger way.

"I see the victory and a finish in my future," Ferguson said. "Now is the time to go and finish him off like I did Tibau. I'm going to get some food, a beer, give my wife and little baby boy inside of her a hug and go back home."

For the complete TUF 22 Finale: 'Edgar vs. Mendes' fight card, click here.

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