Former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson competed in the co-main event of the show, but has decided to call the headliners knuckleheads for their role in the chaotic scene.
“I’m the f*cking champ. You guys realize that, right?,” Ferguson said at the UFC 229 post-fight press conference. “I’ve been the champ. I am the champ. You have these two knuckleheads over there making this sport look bad. … I don’t have a belt up here, I don’t need to have a belt up here to be the champ. So if you guys want to feed that, go ahead, put that in your pocket and take it with you. But what I’m doing here is cleaning up the sport. This is an Olympic-level type of sport and it needs to be cleaned up. I’ve been training like an Olympian. I’ve took so many different things out of my life that I didn’t need anymore and I just felt lifted. So awesome. Such a great feeling.”
Ferguson could be next in line for a UFC Lightweight Title opportunity, once Nurmagomedov is awarded any potential punishments by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
Even though four past bouts have been canceled, a confident Ferguson believes it is finally time to battle Nurmagomedov.
“Khabib and I deserve to fight,” Ferguson said. “We need to fight for the fifth time, we need to try this out again. He is the champ, I was the interim champ. I’m still the f**king champ. There’s no BS in this. Conor does not want to fight me. I saw him when we were walking out to the weigh-ins. He walked up, he did his strut, I turned around and he f**king stopped. He looked like a deer in headlights. Nobody wants to be trapped inside that cage with me. They don’t want to get killed by my elbows. They don’t want to get hit by any of my kicks and they don’t want to get their conditioning checked by me. I’m a different animal than these guys. They want to be animals inside there, I’m a dogcatcher guys. I got a noose for them.”
Nurmagomedov became the undisputed lightweight champion after UFC 223, when UFC President Dana White declared that Nurmagomedov, not Ferguson, was the only lightweight champ in the promotion.