UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson is defending the title against Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event of UFC 223.
Even though a title is going to be on the line at the event, it is the interim title holder who still doesn’t know exactly what everybody is fighting for.
“Yeah, it bothers me. It bothers the sh*t out of me, dude,” Ferguson said on The MMA Hour. “Straight up. I’m the f*cking champ and we don’t know if we’re fighting for the real belt or not. What the f*ck is that? Dana White is telling us one thing on one [side] of the curtain and on the other side he’s saying, ‘No, Conor McGregor is the champion. Go and do your homework.’ And I love Dana, man, but I’m like, ‘What the f*ck, dude? Am I not the champ or am I the champ? Do you want to hype me up or do you not want to hype me up for this fight?’”
Dana White is the UFC President and he has stated that UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor could be stripped of the gold before UFC 223, but nothing has been made official as of yet.
Ferguson admits that it must be embarrassing for the UFC brass to continuously get asked about the situation.
“It was almost like they were kind of embarrassed to ask or to be questioned,” Ferguson said. “They didn’t know what the f*ck was going on. It was kind of like, ‘Well sh*t, what’s going on?’ Look, I understand that there’s business, and there’s probably big business to have to do with McGregor, but that has nothing to do with myself or my family. He does not make our world go around, that’s what I’m trying to say. I have 10 fights in a row that I have won via my coaches and my teammates and my family, not even in that order. Even before that, I knocked out everybody at 170 pounds. I’m a fight finisher. I’m a fan pleaser. And I go out there and I make people bloody. I’m the worst nightmare for anybody that steps inside that Octagon, and I am the f*cking champ.”
UFC 223 takes place on Saturday, April 7 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York with Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.