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Daniel Cormier praises ‘mental toughness’ of weight-cutting Tony Ferguson: ‘Khabib wouldn’t do that’

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UFC 238: Weigh-Ins Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Tony Ferguson successfully made weight for his UFC 249 interim lightweight title fight on April 18, despite the fact that his Justin Gaethje bout was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. “El Cucuy” asked “The Highlight” to follow suit, but the request fell on deaf ears.

And while it was risky business to endure a weight cut when the promotion expects to rebook their headlining affair for May 9, former UFC champion and part-time color commentator Daniel Cormier praised Ferguson for his discipline and mental toughness.

“Tony Ferguson stepping on the scale at 155, that tells you how disciplined this man is,” Cormier told Ariel Helwani. “How disciplined is Tony Ferguson to get all the way down to the championship weight with nothing to gain? That’s a boss move. I know Tony and I don’t have the best relationship, but that is a boss move. More than anything, it speaks to the mental toughness of Tony Ferguson.”

Ferguson was originally scheduled to collide with reigning lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov on April 18 in Brooklyn, New York; however, “The Eagle” got quarantined in Russia and was promptly removed from the event.

“I’m telling you this right now, I love Khabib, but he wouldn’t do that,” Cormier continued. “He wouldn’t make the weight for nothing. He won’t suffer through that for no reason. Conor McGregor, he would not suffer through that for no reason. Conor was willing to say, ‘Hey, great job Tony, put the other guy on the scale.’ But he wouldn’t have done that himself. He wouldn’t have gone down to weight for nothing. Tony Ferguson just did that. That’s a big deal.”

It would be an even bigger deal if UFC can lock down a “mega card” location for May 9.