Tony Ferguson recently broke his silence, insisting he is ready to return to the Octagon following a loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 on May 9 in Jacksonville, Fla.
The competitor that he is, Ferguson would love nothing more than to run it back with Gaethje, the first man to defeat him in eight years.
He know that is unlikely, as Gaethje is currently slated to unify the interim lightweight title that he won with the win over Ferguson in a UFC 254 headlining bout with lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov on Oct. 24.
With Gaethje already lined up opposite Khabib, Ferguson admitted that he’d love to be on the UFC 254 undercard fighting the likes of Dustin Poirier or Conor McGregor.
“They’re both decent fighters. They’re both good. We’re all elite and top five for a reason. As far as fights go, if Conor wants to fight, I’m down for that. I’d love to fight a southpaw. I’d do really well. I knocked Aaron Riley’s jaw in that one on accident, so I mean, when it comes down to me fighting stand-up, you gotta remember when I fought Edson Barboza. It’s a lot different. This mix and matching kind of stuff like that, if it does happen again, cool man. I’m already used to it,” Ferguson said in an interview with ESPN.
“Doesn’t matter. Opponent switches, COVID, anything else wants to pop up, we’re used to it now. You want to give me Conor; you give me Conor. You want to give me Poirier; we’ll make it happen. Then we’ll fight for the winner of the Gaethje and Khabib fight,” he continued.
“I would love to compete against Khabib, Poirier, McGregor. Those are the three right there. Why? Talent-wise, that’s why. Not because of any other ways or means. Because of the talent and the athletic respect that I have for their talent that they have in this sport.”
The UFC is unlikely to book McGregor in anything outside of a headliner, but a fight like Ferguson vs. Poirier on the undercard of Khabib vs. Gaethje would make a lot of sense. It would give the UFC some insurance if either Khabib or Gaethje were to drop out for whatever reason. And if both bouts happen, it is a tremendous opportunity to promote a winner vs. winner bout next.
Regardless, Ferguson is ready to fight again, and fully expects to do so in 2020.
“Expect me back this year.”
(Video courtesy of ESPN MMA)