Tony Ferguson’s victory over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 238 was shaded by controversy. Though Ferguson was taking the fight to Cerrone in the second round, he landed one punch after the bell. The reason that was so controversial is the fight was then stopped before the third round and Ferguson awarded the victory.
One the surface, that may sound like the late shot finished the fight. Athletic commission officials reviewed the footage and determined that wasn’t the case. Cerrone himself also admitted the late punch wasn’t what caused his eye to swell shut between rounds.
“Going into the third round, I don’t think it would have been any different. I was going to pick him apart with jabs, I was going to hit him to the body,” Ferguson said at the UFC 238 post-fight press conference. “Literally, I just saw his nose go from red to clear from red to clear from all the shots.”
Ferguson’s resume is littered with nearly all the top fighters in the UFC lightweight division. There are very few fighters in the championship conversation that Ferguson has yet to defeat, though champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, interim titleholder Dustin Poirier, and superstar Conor McGregor stand out. Nurmagomedov is slated to fight Poirier at UFC 242 in September, but Ferguson is ready for all of them.
“If Dustin Poirier don’t do it, I’m going to do it. Tiramisu [Nurmagomedov] needs an ass whooping. He needs two to the stomach from me. If it’s McNuggets [McGregor] for a money fight or whatever. He’s an athlete, too. I know the division misses him inside here. I’m pretty sure he misses the fight game, too,” said Ferguson.
“I see Dustin he plays a lot against the ropes. He does a lot of boxing and he’s got some good hands but the kid needs to get his back off the ropes.”
Ferguson versus Nurmagomedov is the fight that everyone has wanted to see for years. It has been scheduled several times, but continuously gets derailed for one reason or another. It’s still the fight that Ferguson is targeting, though he would welcome a “money fight” with McGregor. He doesn’t think either man would pose much of a problem for him.
“If I were to fight Khabib, guaran-damn-tee you I would throw him from his feet to his back and beat him like in sambo like a five point move in wrestling. That’s my background,” he said.
“As far as McNuggets goes, I would love to stand toe-to-toe go with that dude. I respect him as an athlete. As a person, he’s kind of a douche. It’s improper 13, it literally is, and I got an attitude and I have a different agency right now, which is great. There’s no conflict of interest, that’s No. 1 and No. 2 is, I’m here to kick some ass. I ran out of bubble gum. We’re here to do business.”
Tony Ferguson UFC 238 Post-Fight Press Conference Video
(Courtesy of MMAFighting)