During a recent press conference (full replay here), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White couldn’t bring himself to actually say Conor McGregor had been stripped of his Lightweight title, despite going on record claiming interim champion Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov would be fighting for the real title at UFC 223 on April 7, 2018.
Despite getting badgered by one reporter after another, White simply wouldn’t give an outright statement regarding Conor’s status as 155-pound champion. And even though Ferguson is calling himself the champion, he is annoyed by the fact that he will undoubtedly have to answer constant questions regarding the legitimacy of his own status due to White’s hesitance.
“Yeah it bothers me. I’m the fucking champ and we don’t know if we’re fighting for the real belt or not,” said Ferguson on a recent edition of The MMA Hour. “What the fuck is that?”
For “El Cucuy,” while he has a great relationship with Dana, he can’t help but to be annoyed with seeing his promoter give two different answers when certain people are around.
“Dana White is telling us one thing one side of the curtain, and on the other side he is saying, ‘No, Conor McGregor is the champion.’ Go and do your homework, there is an interview out there,” he added. “I love Dana, but I’m like, ‘What the fuck dude? Am I or am I not the champ? Do you want to hype me up or do you not want to hype me up for this fight?’”
Perhaps White is still crossing his fingers, hoping Conor does indeed make his 2018 return sooner, rather than later.
To hear Tony tell it, since Dana can’t seem to make up his mind, he will do it for him by putting on a dominant performance against Khabib in Brooklyn.
“That’s your decision, my hands are tied but it’s cool. We will balance that shit out inside the Octagon when I fight Khabib. That’s cool, don’t stress,” proclaimed Ferguson.
Meanwhile, Khabib is on his own mission to win UFC gold for the first time. And if he brings his “A” game against the red-hot Ferguson like he did against Edson Barboza at UFC 219, then we’re in for on hell of a championship fight come April 7.