Tony Ferguson started his 2018 fight campaign as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim lightweight champion, but will end it as just another 155-pound title contender hoping to fight the winner of Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov.
That’s because “El Cucuy” blew out his knee in the days leading up to his UFC 223 title fight against “The Eagle” and was forced to the sidelines, paving the way for Nurmagomedov to capture the vacant crown — stripped from McGregor — against late replacement Al Iaquinta.
And it sounds like Ferguson is still bitter about it.
“They took my belt, they took a bunch of zeroes from my paycheck,” Ferguson told MMA Fighting. “How do you think I fucking feel? It’s all fun and games, right? I’m the fucking champ. See this gold right here? I didn’t lose my belt. They took it from me. So yeah, I’ve got a little chip on my shoulder. It’s still there. It fucking weighs a lot. I hope these bitches knock each other out.”
Not like it hasn’t happened from time-to-time.
Even though Ferguson will return at UFC 229 this weekend to battle Anthony Pettis in Las Vegas, the promotion is not going to miss the opportunity to have McGregor headline the show, because “Notorious” can generate nearly three million pay-per-view buys whereas “El Cucuy” ... cannot.
But they may end up fighting anyway, depending on how things shake out this weekend in “Sin City.”