Lost in the chaos of UFC 229 is the fact that the co-main event had the fans out of their seats and the commentators covered in blood. Tony Ferguson wound up the winner of the fight when Anthony Pettis' corner waived off the bout after two rounds, citing a hand injury.
Ferguson, despite never having fought either man, has some history with both of Saturday’s headliners, Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov. The former UFC interim lightweight champion was slated to fight Nurmagomedov a whopping four times, while McGregor has been in his sights since the Irishman moved up to lightweight in 2016.
“El Cucuy” didn't mince words when talking about McGregor following the event.
"Conor does not want to fight me," Ferguson told reporters at the post-fight press conference. "I saw him when we were walking out to the weigh-ins. He walked up, he did his strut, I turned around and he f--king stopped. He looked like a deer in headlights.
"Nobody wants to be trapped inside that cage with me," Ferguson continued. "They don’t want to get killed by my elbows. They don’t want to get hit by any of my kicks and they don’t want to get their conditioning checked by me. I’m a different animal than these guys. They want to be animals inside there, I’m a dogcatcher guys. I got a noose for them."
Nurmagomedov, on the other hand, is exactly who Ferguson has in mind for his next opponent.
"Khabib and I deserve to fight," Ferguson said. "We need to fight for the fifth time, we need to try this out again. He is the champ, I was the interim champ. I’m still the f--king champ. There’s no BS in this."
Although Ferguson hopes for a showdown with either man in order to become the king of the division, he still sees himself as the champion of the division, having never lost his belt in the cage.
"I’m the f--king champ. You guys realize that right?” Ferguson asked. “I’ve been the champ. I am the champ. You have these two knuckleheads over there making this sport look bad. … I don’t have a belt up here, I don’t need to have a belt up here to be the champ. So if you guys want to feed that, go ahead, put that in your pocket and take it with you."