Tony Ferguson is Arguably the Best Lightweight on the Planet Right Now Based on His Winning Record… However, Even if he Beats Fellow Contender Donald Cerrone This Weekend, A Title Shot Could be as Far Away as Ever…
If Tony Ferguson beats Donald Cerrone this weekend at UFC 238 in Chicago, that will mean he’s twelve fights unbeaten in the UFC. That’s the best record in the division – even better than champion Khabib Nurmagamedov. Cerrone is no walk in the park, but El Cucuy is desperate to get that title shot.
Unfortunately, the UFC doesn’t sound very enthusiastic about giving it to the former interim belt holder. UFC President Dana White spoke at the pre-fight press conference about what was next in the division and both Cerrone and Ferguson should be a little bit worried.
Basically, it all depends on what a certain notorious Irishman wants to do next. Surely, the UFC can’t refuse Ferguson a shot at glory after all he’s been through? Likewise, Cerrone is a company man and a warrior in his own right? Fans can’t stand for this.
The two men are fighting on the main card of UFC 238, with Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes fighting for the vacant bantamweight title in the main slot. However, Ferguson v Cerrone is being billed as the ‘people’s main event.’ Despite this, they may not get a chance at the ultimate prize.
“I can’t say that’s gonna happen,” Dana White said. “Anything is possible. I don’t know who is gonna come out of that fight banged up, what’s gonna happen to them, and everything else, so we’ll see.”
That’s a cagey answer from the UFC boss. But the alarm bells should start ringing after what he said next…
If – like the rest of the MMA community – you are wondering why the UFC isn’t committing to either Ferguson or Cerrone getting that elusive title shot, there’s a two-word answer: Conor McGregor. He might have only fought once in the last three years, but he could still sneak his way into a title shot. White said:
“What did I say leading up to the Mayweather-McGregor fight? [That he may never fight again]. Did I not say that? And how many times has he fought since then? Once,” White said of McGregor. “Conor is in a very unique position as a fighter. He has tons of money. His whiskey business is off the charts. Conor now has the ability to be very calculated, sit back, and play the game the way he wants to. There’s so much more to this then people speculate. . .”
“Conor 100 percent believes he can beat Khabib. He wants the rematch, he feels he deserves the rematch before anybody else. So we’ve got to see how these fights play out. This weekend is a very big, important fight in that whole division and what’s gonna happen. Then in September the Khabib fight will play out in Abu Dhabi. Then we’ll see what’s next.”
Tony Ferguson for his part is not exactly Dana White’s number one fan right now. The 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu product’s relationship has broken down with the boss after the shambolic way he was stripped of his interim title. El Cucuy isn’t even pretending that he likes the UFC president. From now on, it’s business only. He said:
“I’m going to tell you straight up, he’s a fathead too. I’m not talking down on Dana but Dana’s pissed on me more than once or twice man. He said anybody that wore glasses inside should have that sh*t done to them. Remember when I tripped? I wasn’t wearing sunglasses. I was wearing prescription glasses.”
Maybe not the best way to endear yourself to the boss…