Tony Ferguson doesn’t care what critics are starting to say about him and his career.
It’s been a tough past two years for the former interim Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight titleholder. After amassing a stellar 12-fight win streak in the promotion, Ferguson’s fortune reversed starting in May 2020, losing five straight.
“El Cucuy” recently came under fire from Daniel Cormier, suggesting it’s time for him to retire after a recent UFC 279 fourth round guillotine loss to Nate Diaz (watch highlights). However, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 13 winner isn’t going to let anyone say when he’s done.
“When I feel like I’m ready to retire, I will retire,” Ferguson told ESPN (h/t MMA Junkie). “But right now it’s a little bit different, a little bit more interesting. ‘DC’ and all these commentators that just keep repeating the same s—t in the past couple of years — because that’s what they want me to do. They want the public eye to see me like that and they want to see me as a quitter and so on and so forth.
“I never cheated to get on the scales to retain my championship like ‘DC’ — hashtag ‘towel gate,’ — these guys grabbing the towel, trying to lift some pounds off the scale,” he continued. “The UFC [was] right there — they went with it. It’s like an inside job. This guy wants to call it out, I’m going to call you right back out. You don’t have to be an asshole to the people who actually work hard. There’s a lot of up-and-coming fighters that see that s—t and they’re going to try and go with the clique — and that’s it. So don’t start that s—t. I’ve literally given my shirt off my back to the fans, and same thing with the UFC, and I’ll still take my shirt off to go inside that f—king Octagon and show that I’m the f—king man. I’m still the f—king champ.”
Ferguson’s last appearance came at 170 pounds where he originally entered the promotion. Going forward, it will be interesting to see if he’ll stay at the weight or try and give his primary weight class, Lightweight, another go.