Tony Ferguson got what he wanted (more money) and will put his nine-fight win streak on the line when he meets undefeated Russian sensation Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 209 on Mar. 4 for the interim Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight title. The two surging contenders will get the chance to hoist fake gold since current champion Conor McGregor is on a long hiatus following his victory over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. According to Ferguson, his tilt with Nurmagomedov at UFC 209 is for the real title and McGregor won't return to defend his own. "El Cucuy" had the following to say in a brief interview with ESPN's Brett Okamoto:
All business Ferguson pic.twitter.com/YNIeHeNg38— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) January 19, 2017
"I have nine fights in a row win streak. Khabib has eight fights in a row. This is the first time you guys are ever gonna see this inside the octagon. This is for an interim title. It should be for the real shit. Am I a little pissed about it? Yeah. Is Conor gonna defend his belt, that little bitch? Probably not. He's gonna run. Go ahead. Go run. Go try to box. You'll get your ass kicked too. And when you're ready to come back, they're gonna strip your belt and at 155, I'm gonna be holding it and you're gonna be like, ‘Oh I want my belt back' and this and that. I don't give a shit. The fight, the real fight, is between Conor? No. Conor, sorry buddy. The fight's between Khabib and Ferguson."
While Ferguson continues to throw shade at McGregor in effort to brew some bad blood in the event of a meeting between the two sometime this year, the UFC veteran may have a point. Not only did McGregor leave the featherweight division behind after winning the title with the 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo at UFC 194, but he's already talking about a potential superfight with boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. He may also take his talents back up to 170 pounds and take on current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley to become the only fighter ever to win a title in three separate weight classes.
Only time will tell if "Notorious" will in fact be around in 2017 to defend his title, but you better believe he'll be watching closely when Ferguson and Nurmagomedov finally tie it up at UFC 209, which will be headlined by a welterweight title rematch between Woodley and Stephen Thompson.