Despite being stripped of his interim lightweight title by the UFC, Tony Ferguson remains adamant that he is still the true champion at 155-pounds.
Ferguson (25-3) captured UFC gold when he submitted Kevin Lee in the main event of UFC 216 last October. The win extended “El Cucuy’s” winning streak to ten, he is now undefeated in the UFC for over six years, last losing a decision to Michael Johnson in May 2012.
Last month at UFC 223, Ferguson was supposed to face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed lightweight title. After suffering a knee injury one week out from the fight, Ferguson was replaced by Al Iaquinta, and UFC president Dana White confirmed the 34-year-old was stripped of his interim lightweight belt, something Ferguson doesn’t agree with.
“The doctor told me recovery time is anywhere from three to six months with this kind of procedure, but I heal quick,” he told ESPN. “Whenever Khabib’s b-itch ass comes back, that’s when I’ll be back. I’m thinking November.
”The UFC has indicated my title is gone and Khabib is the only champion at 155 pounds, but the UFC hasn’t mentioned anything official to my management. As far as I’m concerned, I’m still the true 155-pound champion. I never lost my belt.”
Ferguson’s knee injury marked the fourth time a bout with Nurmagomedov had been scrapped. “The Eagle” has stated he is targeting a November – December return to defend his belt, and Ferguson feels it’s only right if he is next in line for Nurmagomedov.
“That’s a big middle finger to ‘T-Ferg’ right there — that’s a kick to the groin if they do that,” Ferguson said. “At the end of the day, does the UFC really like its fighters? I’m one of their toughest fighters. Don’t kick me when I’m down.
”I missed out on pay-per-view points, my purse, a big payday; a lot of things behind the scenes. They have to either give me my title back or make sure I’m fighting under that same contract. I’ve earned that.”