Tony Ferguson is one of the top ranked lightweights in the UFC and if he defeats former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 99, he could be in line for a lightweight title shot.
However, becoming champion is not the main goal for Ferguson -- making as much money as he can for his family is his motivation.
“It does [bring along a lot more money], but I’m not hurting,” he said to Yahoo Sports. “My wife has a great job. I have a great, phenomenal job. And you know what? Even if I were to walk away right now and go into the contracting business, I’d probably make more money than I am right now. The best thing about it is, I’m able to support myself in many more ways than one. I don’t know how many fighters would even do that. I don’t need to keep my name out there by talking [expletive] and by trying to bring myself down to their level. My interviews are pretty much heated all the time, only because when people give me those questions, I’m a blue-chip athlete. I’m a blue-chip athlete who comes from an academic background. I use my head. I’m not just a knucklehead.”
Ferguson knows that he can't make money unless he continues improving his skills in the cage, while also winning fights at the same time.
“If my concern was getting a shot at the belt as soon as possible, I’d probably be [angry],” he said. “I’m more interested in receiving my black belt from Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet jiu-jitsu system than the UFC belt right now. The [UFC] belt is tarnished, man. I feel like the belt has been in so many different hands, it’s so polluted. It needs to be recycled by the time I get there. I think everybody wants me to get the title, but for me, I don’t do what everybody else wants me to do. I’m a leader, not a follower, man. I’m a super fighter. I create super fights. The people who actually give me the righteous fights are the ones who are going to be the best for me, give or take whether it’s a title fight. I really don’t give a [expletive]. I really don’t.”
For a fighter who is interested in making money more than becoming a champion, Ferguson decided to handle his own strength and conditioning, saving the fighter some greenbacks.
“Dude, I know exactly what I’m doing and how to do it and how my body works,” he said. “When I go to a new place, sometimes they don’t help. They don’t have that experience with me. I’ll roll my eyes sometimes, though I’ll still do the drills. I’ll spend $1,000 on 20 sessions and I’ll only use half, because I know I have to do something better.”
UFC Fight Night 98 will take place on Saturday, November 5th from the Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Mexico with Tony Ferguson and Rafael Dos Anjos headlining.