Tony Ferguson will be taking on Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC Interim Lightweight Title at UFC 209, in a fight that has been a long time coming for the two longtime rivals. Ferguson says that one of the only reasons the fight is happening is because the UFC finally met his standards.
“They met my standards,” Ferguson told MMA Junkie Radio. “Khabib’s offer I threw right out the window immediately. That was some trashy kind of thing. But we’re good to good. We’re full swing ahead. … We worked out financial terms. I’ve earned my stripes in this division. I’ve put in my time. I’ve put in my work. I’ve put in my effort, especially when no fans were watching when I didn’t have cameras on me. I don’t need anybody to believe in me besides myself, because every single day I go in there and I beat myself up that was so I can go out there and I can kick some ass. I know what I’m worth and I know my numbers, and that dude’s padded record is nowhere near my contention, my type of fights that I’ve had and presented to the world.”
Ferguson and Nurmagomedov have been trading barbs on social media for a while now, Ferguson is now comparing his rival to a stalker-like ex-girlfriend.
“He’s telling me to go train and shut up?” Ferguson said. “I’m like, ‘Man, you talk too much already, son. You talk too much. You are looking at me and you responded in like 2.2 minutes, son. You’re worse than a stalker ex-girlfriend. You’re looking at me like a hawk, an eagle and I want you to do that because you’re going to be stressing about what I’m going to do. The pressure I’m going to use, I’m going to put so much pressure on you. … I hope that you guys make it. I’m praying that we both make it to this fight, and we can sell this (expletive) out and put T-Mobile (Arena) on the map again. I’m hyped. We might be co-main event, but I bet you the numbers are going to be better on ours. I can’t wait to play punch-face.”
UFC 209 takes place on Saturday, March 4 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson headlining.