In a recent interview, UFC president Dana White said that American Tony Ferguson, after his tough loss to compatriot Michael Chandler, should take time to recover.
According to Tony, he is not going to take advice from people around him and intends to hold his next fight when he is ready. At the same time Ferguson is confident that UFC management won’t turn him down.
Ferguson (25-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC), a former interim UFC lightweight champion, was stopped by strikes for the first time in his career this past weekend when Chandler (23-7 MMA, 2-2 UFC) caught him with a highlight-reel front kick to the face. The outcome extended Ferguson’s losing skid to four fights, and raised questions about his future.
Tony Ferguson’s primary goal moving forward is to right the ship. He thinks that starts with his preparation.
Ferguson’s primary goal moving forward is to right the ship. He thinks that starts with his preparation.
For the majority of Tony Ferguson’s tenure as a top-ranked lightweight in the UFC, he has not been part of what would widely be considered a traditional training camp. He has not been engrained with one of the well-known mega-gyms across the United States, and has followed a more boxing-style route where he works with a hand-selected group of coaches and training partners.
Tony Ferguson said he believes it’s time for that to change, though. He said he’s spoken to a number of high-profile individuals about training together, and sees an opportunity to change his ways.
Ferguson, 38, was issued a 60-day medical suspension by the Arizona Boxing & MMA Commission in the aftermath of his loss to Chandler at UFC 274 in Phoenix. UFC president Dana White said post-fight that he would like to see Ferguson take an extended layoff from competition.
It remains to be seen when “El Cucuy” will step back into the octagon. However, it’s something that’s going to happen.
Tony Ferguson knows there are critics who question the current state of his career, despite all his losses coming to the elite at 155 pounds in Chandler, Beneil Dariush, Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje. He was unequivocal in stating that his passion for the fight game is at an all-time peak, and he has no intentions of walking away.
Once Tony Ferguson finds a training situation that he believes in, the conversation about when he steps back into the octagon can begin.
“What I’ve always done is call my shots with the UFC,” Ferguson said. “I’m a shot-caller with the UFC. Any time I want a fight I always bring myself presentable. My relationship with Dana is decent. I might say a couple things and act on it, but that’s not me retaliating. That’s me defending myself. That’s me being able to speak and have balls. Be a man. For a while there I felt like I had to be quiet and earn my respect and earn my value, but I stopped worrying about all that sh*t.
“When I’m ready to fight I will let the UFC know, and I guarantee you they’ll let me know, too, ‘Hey, this is who we have.’ I was ready for (Islam) Makhachev in Abu Dhabi if some things would’ve been a little bit different. But I try to take these opportunities and present them so I’m there for the company. They know I’m a company man, and that’s why they said I’m not going anywhere.”
Tony Ferguson on his next desired opponent
Tony Ferguson is recovering from his devastating knockout loss to Michael Chandler at UFC 274 and it appears that he already has his next opponent in mind.
During the same interview, Ferguson revealed that if he gets his wish, his next opponent will be Dustin Poirier. However, the 38-year-old lightweight is also enticed by a potential celebrity boxing match against the Diaz brothers:
“I would love to be able to fight Dustin Poirier. Obviously, he likes to go stand up… stand up battle wouldn’t be bad. Obviously, I want to box. Even a celebrity boxing match against Nick Diaz and Nate Diaz wouldn’t be bad.”
‘El Cucuy’ also expressed interest in a potential move up to the welterweight division, considering the drastic weight cut he has to go through to make 155lbs. This is particularly interesting considering Dustin Poirier has also previously expressed a desire to climb up to 170lbs.