UFC star Tony Ferguson is entering his UFC 262 co-main event slot this weekend against Beneil Dariush on a two-fight losing skid, but that didn’t keep him from slamming some of his rivals in epic rants at the press conference for the upcoming event on Thursday. Badly in need of a win inside the Octagon, the 37-year-old left the presser with another kind of victory. Ferguson had the entire sports world buzzing after he savagely took aim at retired champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, Michael Chandler, Dariush and even UFC president Dana White.
Ferguson began his epic slam fest by bashing retired UFC lightweight champion Nurmagomedov for retiring before Ferguson could get his hands on him. The question wasn’t for him, but Ferguson answered it anyway.
“He’s a f****** b****!” Ferguson yelled into his microphone.
That set the tone for the next hour or so. It got the crowd fired up in a big way, and that energy seemed to fuel Ferguson’s frenzy.
In fact, judging by the strong reactions from the folks on hand for the event, Ferguson was easily the most popular person in the room.
And he knew it.
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Ferguson Trolls Chandler and White
The former interim champion used his time on the mic to savagely troll Chandler and White for the former Bellator star jumping the line after just one fight in the UFC.
Chandler, 35, is a three-time Bellator lightweight champion, and he’s set to face Charles Oliveira in the main event of UFC 262 for the vacant UFC lightweight championship.
Ferguson made it super clear he wasn’t happy at all with how his own 12-fight win streak in the UFC never got him the chance to fight for the undisputed championship but Chandler beating Dan Hooker at UFC 257 somehow did.
“You got this s*** handed to you. You got Dana White privilege,” Ferguson said.
That drew a huge laugh from White, but it was sort of a burn about him, too.
Ferguson was basically claiming Chandler was getting his shot at gold because he had said ‘yes’ to everything White and the UFC offered him.
Both Chandler and White have basically been saying the same thing over the last week. Chandler prides himself in being the type who wants to fight who the UFC says and when they want it to happen, and the UFC boss has continually lauded Chandler for that attitude.
Perhaps sensing the power Ferguson wielded in the room as its most popular person, the longtime UFC star did his best to secure bigger bonuses for the card this weekend in Texas.
“Everything is bigger in Texas,” he reasoned when requesting larger bonuses. Ferguson point-blanked asked White to make it happen, but White laughed it off.
“Guess that’s a no,” Ferguson said.
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Ferguson vs. Dariush Has Massive Implications
Later, Ferguson finally stood face-to-face with his UFC 262 rival, Dariush.
The two had barked back and forth at each other during the press conference with Ferguson savagely slamming his rival at just about every turn. Even when Dariush tried to be respectful, Ferguson wasn’t having it.
To his credit, Dariush stood his ground in one way when he asked Ferguson to bring that same kind of energy for the fight.
Ferguson agreed he would.
Ferguson vs. Dariush is an important showdown for both fighters.
While the crowd chanting Ferguson’s name at the presser is a sign of how incredibly popular the UFC star has been over the years, the truth of the matter is that he had better win his fight this weekend if he hopes to keep getting important fights in a deep division.
Heck, Ferguson might need a win just to stay in the UFC.
Meanwhile, Dariush is on a six-fight tear that’s put the 32-year-old in prime position to claim a title shot soon assuming he can beat Ferguson at UFC 262.
It won’t be easy. Ferguson has been one of the most elite fighters in the sport, and he claims to have turned back the clock for this fight after making wholesale changes to his training team.
Still, Ferguson might have won the war of words on Thursday, but all that really matters is what happens in the upcoming fight.
A win by “El Cucuy” puts him right back into title contention, but another loss would be devastating to those plans.
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