According to Gillespie, Ferguson turned down a fight with him “100 times” in 2021. That’s what he tweeted hours after the news was shared that he had been removed from the official UFC rankings due to his inactivity inside the Octagon.
“I am patiently waiting for a fight that will get me closer to a title,” Gillespie tweeted on May 15. “Since @TonyFergusonXT turned me down 100x last year, and @MikeChandlerMMA didn’t seem interested, and since RDA (Rafael dos Anjos) just turned down a fight against me (WHICH I ACCEPTED), I guess @beneildariush will have to do.”
Gillespie (14-1) has only competed once since 2019, earning a second-round TKO over Diego Ferreira during UFC on ESPN 24 in May 2021. He’s 7-1 in the UFC, defeating the likes of Vinc Pichel and Yancy Medeiros. “The Gift’s” only professional loss is to Kevin Lee, who knocked him out with a head kick in November 2019 at UFC 244.
Ferguson Called Gillespie a ‘Stinky Guy,’ Said He Had Never Been Offered a Fight With Gillespie
During Ferguson’s interview with Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour” earlier this week, “El Cucuy” said he had never heard about Gillespie, let alone been offered a fight against him.
“I’d never heard about him… I was never offered a fight by the UFC with him. I never heard anything, my lawyers (and) my agents never heard anything,” Ferguson via MMA Mania. “I want to be real, that dude is some kind of work man. I sent him a message… the story is, he don’t change his knee pads, I guess, or something like that. He’s a stinky guy. I don’t wanna fight a stinky guy. Clean up your act and go fight some people. You can’t talk your way into the title, you’re not Conor (McGregor). Conor’s got value, he brings something to the table. He breaks records with the gate and everything. So do I.”
“If you’re just sitting there b******* all the time and not doing any work, or there for the company, you can’t expect to talk yourself into a title fight, I’m gonna be real… I recommend to him (Gillespie), get in there and fight some motherf******,” Ferguson continued.
Gillespie Wants to Fight the ‘Top Guys With the Lowest Number’
According to the fighter, he’s been offered “plenty of fights” from the UFC, however he’s only accepted opponents that were ranked higher than him in the top 10. When it was learned that Gillespie had been pulled out of the lightweight standings, some thought he had been cut from the promotion. So, he took to Twitter to clarify what happened.
“I am removed from the RANKINGS,” The Gift tweeted. “Not from the organization. (Fighters are removed after 12 months of inactivity). I am NOT GOING ANYWHERE! The UFC has always been great to me! 100% class! It is not their fault that I don’t have a fight. They Have offered me plenty of fights.”
“I have accepted all and any that were ranked ahead of me (outside of short notice), and conversely I have obviously turned down anyone ranked behind me,” he continued.
“I am on a mission to fight the top guys with the lowest number next to their name to get close to the Belt,” Gillespie tweeted. “Fighting guys ranked behind me isn’t the way to do it, but i also understand sitting for a while isn’t either”