Now that it’s starting to sound like all parties are on board with Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, top lightweight contender Tony Ferguson doesn’t think much of the UFC champ’s chances.
As we creep into the new Mayweather-vs.-McGregor-may-actually-be-happening reality there’s going to be a lot more focus and thought given as to just how this prospective boxing vs. MMA battle might play out. One guy who seems to feel he’s got a pretty good idea is top ranked lightweight contender Tony Ferguson.
Ferguson was set to face Khabib Nurmagomedov in an interim title fight back at UFC 209 before complications from weight cutting forced Nurmagomedov out of the bout. The fight wouldn’t just have put a piece of UFC jewelry around Ferguson’s waist, though, as it would also crown the de facto top contender whenever McGregor was ready to return to the cage.
Instead, as McGergor chases down what may be the biggest money fight in combat sports today, Ferguson is left to consider what might go down if Conor McGregor actually steps in the ring against Floyd Mayweather (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“No way,” Ferguson told Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour when asked if Conor had a chance of winning. “Floyd’s just a different animal.”
And it’s not just Mayweather that Ferguson feels can out-box McGregor. Given the chance, Ferguson sounds pretty confident he could do it himself.
“No, I mean if he’s all about business and being a punk he needs to vacate that belt but, I don’t know,” he said. “If you want to box, let’s go. I’ll box you.
“That dude would get eaten up on his feet.”
Ferguson has a strong case for his shot – busted interim title fight aside. “El Cucuy” is currently riding a nine-fight win streak, stretching all the way back to his decision loss to Michael Johnson in 2012. Since then he’s picked up wins over former UFC champion Rafael dos Anjos, and former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson, along with a host of veteran talents. And to his mind, that puts him in line for something big.
“Well, why not?” Ferguson said in regards to fighting for the title. “I mean, literally I was just fighting for the [interim] belt. I feel like I am a legit contender, I’ve got nine wins in a row, I’ve got X amount of performance [of the night] victories. Really, I’ve been putting in some work. I feel like I deserve it. What am I going to do. I’m just going to boom boom, banging through these dudes, man. And just keep knocking them out and finishing them. I’ve had it in my head I need a knockout. So if you guys want to see somebody get knocked out, let’s go.”
McGregor recently revealed that he’s hoping to fight Mayweather sometime in September. And that could mean it’ll be more than a few months before Ferguson is in line for a shot at the champ. In the meantime, the UFC may have to find another big fight to keep him busy and the top of the lightweight division active.