Tony Ferguson was a happy man at the UFC 238 post fight press conference, a marked difference from the “T-Ferg” we witnessed leading up to his fight with Donald Cerrone, and even after. The fight ended with a shot after the bell followed by an anti-climactic doctor’s stoppage, and Ferguson initially left the cage with his head down. But by the time he spoke to the press, he’d worked out whatever negative feelings he had.
”I made it a point in my head, ‘You’re going to walk away like a champ no matter what anybody thinks,’” Ferguson said. “‘You’re going to walk in there with your head held high, and you’re gonna walk out the same way that you walked in.’ Yeah, I had my head down because I heard the boos, but i think more than anything else the fans wanted another round. And honestly, I would have given them another round or two, and if you had brought someone else in there, it would have been the same f**king story, I would have bled all over the place.”
Asked who his next opponent would be if he called the shots, Ferguson shook his head in bemused frustration.
”I got 12 fights in a row, man,” he said. “I should be calling the f**king shots. With all due respect to the UFC and Dana White, I think they need an evaluation if my next fight isn’t a title fight,”
”It’s kinda funny, I don’t know what else I have to do in this division to keep ... to keep after it. It’s a round robin tournament, but I’m tired of it. I’m here to stay. I am the f**king champ. I don’t have to go on and refurbish a lot of that stuff. You guys know what I’m about. I’m about the business, you guys know I’m about learning and growing and ... f**k, man. If Dustin Poirier doesn’t do it, I’m going to do it. ‘Tiramisu’ needs an ass whooping; he needs two to the stomach from me.”
“And if it’s ‘McNuggets’ for a money fight, literally?” Ferguson continued, referencing Conor McGregor. “He’s an athlete, too. I know the division misses him. I’m pretty sure he misses the fight game, too. We need to see these fighters keep coming out and represent the sport, because that’s why you got into it. You’re an athlete. Keep coming back and when it’s your turn to retire, go and f**king retire, man. But if you’ve made a name in this sport and you’re able and within the age limit, keep competing.”
Ferguson vowed that was exactly what he was planning to do: keep competing, and keep winning. But when asked if he’d be ready to step in should somebody fall out of the Dustin Poirier vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov fight at UFC 242, he refused to commit.
”I’m going to go back on Monday and hit some cardio. I got a couple stitches in my eye, we’re going to wait until those heal, I guess.”
Dana White took a similar wait and see approach when asked about Ferguson getting a title shot off Saturday’s Cerrone stoppage.
“When we get back to Vegas, we’ll get together on Tuesday and figure these things out,” he said during his portion of the press conference. “But it doesn’t really matter yet because these guys still gotta fight in September, we got Poirier and Khabib.”