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Midnight Mania! Tony Ferguson was in the middle of an interview when UFC 249 was cancelled

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UFC 249 Khabib v Ferguson: Press Conference Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

For much of the previous month, the mixed martial arts (MMA) world has been trapped in their homes, watching little else but the rise and fall of UFC 249. As more and more sporting events were canceled, UFC 249 looked less and less likely. Then, UFC President Dana White came out with a new main event and new location, and suddenly it seemed the show might actually go on.


If it’s been a whirlwind from the sidelines, imagine being one half of the original main event. Tony Ferguson has admirably dealt with an unknowable number of obstacles to stay prepared for this bout, and it still went up in smoke just nine days from showtime.

As it turns out, Ferguson was in the midst of a phone interview with OC Register about the event when news of cancelation broke. A few curse words aside, “El Cucuy” took the news incredibly well and offered some pretty inspiring words of optimism:

“Ummmm … you know what? I’m sure it’s for a good reason. Let’s be real. I gotta keep the faith,” Ferguson said. “I gotta keep this … (expletive) … keep this small circle close, bro, and just keep focusing on what we can control, which is our heart rate and our breathing.

“Dude, I’m just gonna keep collecting trophies and doing my same shit,” Ferguson continued, before pausing and getting emotional. “Every single time I wake up in the morning, when I do my work, say my prayers and I do (stuff), I hug my little boy … whew … kiss my wife. I just … keep doing what I’m doing. What am I gonna do? The constant is things are always gonna change. The variable is how am I gonna react to it? So we could throw that variable, baby, and we make that the constant. Which is why I’m gonna keep smiling, I’m gonna keep training, and you know what? I’m gonna put on some muscle. Dude, I’m skinny. I’m gonna put on some muscle. I’m gonna try my best. I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna try my best. If I fall, I’ll get back up.”

Despite incredible achievements, the fight game has not been kind to Tony Ferguson. Sudden injuries, stripped titles, and yet another last-second cancelation — Ferguson has all the reasons in the world to be bitter. Instead, he’s ready to move forward, and maybe there’s some tiny chance he can match up with Khabib Nurmagomedov on some island next month.


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