The inimitable Tony Ferguson returns at UFC 256 this weekend, anchoring the co-main event slot against Brazilian submission ace Charles Oliveira. It’s the first fight back for “El Cucuy” since a tough loss back in May against Justin Gaethje.
That UFC 249 defeat, whcih saw the ref arguably save Ferguson from himself, waving off the beatdown while he was still standing, pumped the brakes on the doomed Khabib vs. Ferguson fight. Potentially for good, with lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov announcing his retirement after defeating Gaethje at UFC 254 in October.
But at the UFC 256 media day, Ferguson took issue with the lack of support for him to get a title shot. While at the same time dismissing the allure of another title fight. A bit of a surprise, really, and a bit of a contradiction, but that’s Tony Ferguson.
“Nobody spoke up for me to get a title fight with a 12 fight win streak, years in the making. What did I do wrong? What did I do wrong?” he questioned during the UFC 256 media day this week. “Did I step on somebody’s toes? Did I speak up for myself? That was so bad, right?”
And yet, asked if a win over Charles Oliveira might mean a quick road back to another title opportunity, Ferguson replied by saying “that title is a wet dream. Like that Farmers Insurance commercial. Oh, you almost got it. Keep it going. We’re just going to keep dangling it in front of you.”
“I don’t know what the f*ck it is. I don’t know what the problem is,” Ferguson added. “I don’t know if it’s because I’m Mexican. I’m American with Mexican parts. Twelve-fight win streak. Eight years in the making, before women’s sports were even in. Conor [McGregor] was on welfare.”
And yet, continued Ferguson, after starting a win streak before Henry Cejudo even entered the promotion, “I still didn’t earn a title shot.”
For those keeping track, Cejudo retired the same night Ferguson’s streak ended.
To go after another belt, with his Ultimate Fighter Trophy, Fighter’s Only award, and interim title at home, however, would be greedy, according to Ferguson. “How much greed can you want? You want to be like Khabib [Nurmagomedov] and hold on to it?”
So why is Tony Ferguson still fighting? Good question. An easier one to answer is why he’s fighting Oliveira. “Oliveira’s the only game opponent that wanted to fight,” Ferguson exclaimed. “Chandler doesn’t want to fight. Poirier doesn’t want to fight. McNuggets ran, and Tiramisu is gone.”
Watch the full UFC 256 virtual media day pres scrum with Tony Ferguson above. The event takes place this Saturday, December 12 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV.