Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson, is the most deserving title contender in the 155-pound division, racking up 12 straight wins with nine violent finishes to secure a 15-1 record inside the Octagon.
So why can’t promotion president, Dana White, commit to an “El Cucuy” title shot?
Because Conor McGregor can make the promotion ten times the amount of money if “Notorious” decides to make his way back to mixed martial arts (MMA), which is why White is not expected to make any concrete plans until September.
In the meantime, he wants UFC fans to leave him alone.
“When did I say that this guy doesn’t deserve anything? I mean if you do your homework on the Tony Ferguson thing, how many times have Tony Ferguson and Khabib [Nurmagomedov] been lined up to fight? It didn’t work out,” White told his Instagram followers (via MMA Fighting). “He was the interim champion, blew his knee out, he had to have ACL surgery. He was out. We just offered him the fight with [Dustin] Poirier to fight Khabib next, he turned the fight down. Then he came back a few weeks later and was ready to fight again.”
Ferguson is fresh off his technical knockout victory over Donald Cerrone at UFC 238, a bout that marked his return to competition after a worrisome domestic situation that appears to be resolved, or at least a work in progress.
“Everybody’s acting like I’ve denied Tony his shot at the title,” White continued. “It’s just that he’s had a bad string of luck and things haven’t gone his way. But everybody’s terrorizing me like I’m not giving him what he deserves. If you’re a fan of the sport, you saw how this whole thing played out. That’s how we got where we are now.”
He’s certainly not the only one.
McGregor reportedly turned down a fight against “Cowboy” Cerrone, got arrested earlier this year, and is now facing injury, as well, so there isn’t anything Ferguson has done that would make him less worthy than “Notorious,” except the box office return.
There’s no telling what White and Co. have in store for Ferguson after Khabib Nurmagomedov defends his title against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242, but one way or the other, I have a sneaking suspicion that things are about to go out the window.