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Tony Ferguson explains UFC 249 weight cut: ‘It wasn’t just for me, it was for my team’

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Tony Ferguson is one of the strangest people in all of mixed martial arts (MMA) and that’s a good thing. As someone who has blazed his own unique path over the past seven years Ferguson currently owns a 12-fight win streak and remains one of the very best fighters on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster.

Most recently, Ferguson broke the mold by successfully cutting weight for his cancelled UFC 249 title fight, which was expected to happen this weekend before the rapid COVID-19 outbreak took precedence. It’s a decision that few fighters would put themselves through, but this is the type of stuff we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from the man known as “El Cucuy.”

“It wasn’t just for me, it was for my team, man, and my sponsors and obviously for my family,” Ferguson told ESPN about his unofficial weight cut. “And just the commitment to myself to follow through with the weight cut. ... To me that says a lot more for my stock. Saying that you know what, ‘I’m gonna make weight, I’m not gonna miss weight.’ I have what it takes mentally to go through this fight camp. It’s gonna be awesome, dude. It was such a great experience.”

Ferguson was originally scheduled to fight rival and current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 249 before “Eagle” was grounded in Russia and eventually replaced by Justin Gaethje, who did not take part in this weekend’s unofficial weight cut. Ferguson could end up locking horns with “Highlight” in just a weeks weeks as UFC president Dana White plans a massive May 9 card, but that isn’t entirely set in stone.

For now, all Ferguson can do is maintain his training, stay in shape, and continue to separate himself from the competition.

“I’ve been dong the exact same s---,” Ferguson said about his day-to-day routine. “Everybody has been quarantined now, but I’m still living the same life. I’m still doing my thing, which is training and bettering myself every single day. My growth factor is f---ing huge right now, pardon my language. Literally, I feel great.

”For me to make weight and Justin Gaethje not to make weight, that’s a chalk line right there. That’s a chalk line versus any opponent I have. Any person that would make championship weight today was the smart one that’s gonna compete on that card, that’s still competing.”

In addition to his unofficial UFC 249 weight cut, Ferguson plans on hosting a workout this weekend from the comfort of his own home. Despite not scheduled to compete and coming off a 24-pound weight cut this past week, “El Cucuy” still wants to put some extra work in and prove he’s the UFC’s uncrowned lightweight champion.

”From 179 to 155, bro,” Ferguson said. “I know how do to this. Let’s f—king go. Champ sh-t only.”

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 249 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+/Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 249: “Ferguson vs. Gaethje” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.