Tony Ferguson proposed an “old-school UFC 1 kind of” tournament featuring him, Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje and Khabib Nurmagomedov battling it out until one fighter reigns supreme in the stacked 155-pound division. Ferguson threw the idea out in the same interview with MMA Junkie in which the UFC fighter again lobbed heaps of shade at UFC president Dana White.
“These are two fights that interest me because they’re in my weight class, they’re very good talent-wise, and I think could beat them both. Pretty much,” Ferguson said. “It would be dope to fight in a tournament with me, Conor, you got Khabib, you got Gaethje. One of those old-school UFC 1 kind of things. That’s what I’m saying.”
During the same interview, Ferguson said he remains “cool” with UFC president Dana White despite “being treated like s***” by him.
Of course, Ferguson is the type of guy who says whatever he’s thinking, and that’s a big part of the American’s charm.
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Expanding Ferguson’s Tournament Idea
Ferguson said he is willing to fight anyone the UFC offers next so long as he feels he’s being appropriately compensated for it.
That includes recent UFC signee Michael Chandler who is serving as the back-up fighter for the UFC 254 main event matchup this weekend between Nurmagomedov and Gaethje.
But the only pair of fights Ferguson remains interested in right now on merit alone would be against Nurmagomedov or McGregor.
To expand Ferguson’s UFC lightweight tournament idea out further, and perhaps even turn it into a Grand Prix such as rival promoter Bellator MMA runs, such a tournament in the UFC’s lightweight division could include McGregor vs. Poirier, Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje, Ferguson vs. Chandler and perhaps two more highly ranked fighters from the following group facing each other: Dan Hooker, Charles Oliviera, Paul Felder and Diego Ferreira.
No, a UFC tournament like this isn’t that likely to happen anytime soon because that’s not how the UFC operates its business, but it’s a fun idea nonetheless.
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Ferguson ‘Cool’ With Dana White Despite ‘Being Treated Like S***’
Ferguson famously lashed out at White earlier this month when reminding the UFC president, “bro, we’re not friends,” but also said similar things during that interview about him and White being “cool”.
That has continued.
In the MMA Junkie interview that was published on Thursday, Ferguson said, “I said we weren’t friends. I never said we were friends, but we are in business and we are a club. Dana knows how clutch I am from ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ I had that…tryout and I won. I’ve completely changed my…thought process. I’m not the same…”.
The short way to say it is that Ferguson seems to want fights, but he wants White and the UFC to pay him more for his services. The 36-year-old feels that he’s been underpaid, and he wants that to change.
“Me and Dana are chill,” Ferguson said. “But when it comes down to it, I want to be paid what I’m worth, and my value has increased.”
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