Chael Sonnen believes that a potentially victorious Ferguson could get screwed over for a second time by the UFC, especially if former two division UFC champion Conor McGregor gets slidden into a second fight with UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“I think now is the perfect time for that [Nate Diaz Trilogy fight],” Sonnen said on Submission Radio (via Denis Shkuratov). “And look, I know everything that’s been said is we’re going to keep Conor on ice and we’re gonna put him against Khabib, the winner of Khabib-Tony in September. But of course, that was believing that Khabib was going to win. You have to understand, if that is still the plan, then that means we’re getting ready to pull the screw job on Tony a second time. They have promised Tony an interim title fight for the second time. The first time he did it. He never lost it. And all of a sudden that belt is gone. We as fans cannot allow that to happen. If Tony comes out of this thing, Tony needs to be fighting Khabib. And if at some point they try to slide in Conor, which is likely, maybe not likely, but possible, that means we screwed Tony a second time. We can’t let that happen.”
Ferguson was allegedly screwed over the first time after he won the interim lightweight title at UFC 216 and never got an opportunity to finally fight Nurmagomedov before the UFC stripped Ferguson of the title.
The former interim lightweight champion cut weight for the first time UFC 249 was going to happen (April 18), which Sonnen sees both the good and the bad in.
“I think it’s a fair talking point,” Sonnen said. “Now, how should we interpret this ahead of time? Look, this is an experiment, okay? Nobody knows, does pulling down and drawing your body out and then two weeks later doing it again, is that helpful? Are we all gonna look back and go, ‘Wow, that’s what we should be doing? We shouldn’t be taxing ourselves in that last 48 hours where you’re dragging out there 24 hours later, we should be doing it over a longer stint.’ Is that what we’re going to find? I don’t know. I will just remind you of this, Tony is a wrestler. Tony, in fact, won a national championship at college wrestling. In college wrestling you will have 30 matches over the season and you will have 16 weigh-ins one week apart. So, this is nothing new for Tony. People have made a big deal that he weighed in and two weeks later he’s gotta weigh in again. He grew up weighing in every single Saturday morning. So, never once in his wrestling career has any wrestler ever looked back and go, ‘Well, you know, I had a bad night tonight, but I think it’s cause I weighed in last week.’ One’s got nothing to do with the other.”
UFC 249 takes place on Saturday, May 9 from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida with Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.