Lightweight fighter James Vick is coming off of a victory over Joe Duffy in the featured preliminary card fight of UFC 217.
Vick has continually been turned down for fights by the UFC Lightweight top 15 and he believes all those fighters are afraid to lose their spots.
“This is ridiculous,” Vick said on The MMA Hour. “These guys know exactly who the f*ck I am. I feel like a douchebag just saying my record over and over again, ‘oh, I’m 8-1, I’m 8-1,’ but how many of these guys are 8-1? I literally have a better record than 90 percent of the UFC, so they know exactly who the f*ck I am and they’re acting like they don’t. I understand, I’m not delusional. I’m in the deepest weight class of the UFC and I understand that I’m the high-risk, low-reward situation right now. I’m the highest risk they can take because I’m going to whoop them all. Of course, they’re taking a huge risk in fighting me, but my name isn’t quite big enough yet. I’m not saying they’re avoiding me necessarily because they’re scared, but they are afraid of losing their spot. They’re not afraid of me, James Vick, but they’re afraid of what losing to me would do to their career.”
The fighter isn’t currently ranked himself and the only fighter he fought that currently sits in the top 15 is Beneil Dariush, whom he lost to at UFC 199.
Not only does Vick want to start facing the divisional top 15, but he would like to fight UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson as well.
“You got Tony Ferguson, and in my mind, I’d whoop his ass,” Vick said. “I look at our competition with Abel Trujillo and I smoked him twice as easy as he did. I mean, Abel Trujillo took him (Ferguson) down three times and dropped him twice, so to say that I’m not worthy in skill-level-wise... their whole saving grace where they don’t have to fight me is because I got a top-10 fight and I lost (against Beneil Dariush at UFC 199). Well, first of all, most of these guys got multiple top-10 opportunities or they lose and they get grandfathered in (the rankings) because they have names and they stay there. It really is a joke.”
Ferguson last competed at UFC 216 and he defeated Kevin Lee on that night to win the UFC Interim Lightweight Title.