Tony Ferguson didn’t mince words after winning the interim lightweight crown at UFC 216 on Saturday night.
With his new hardware in tow, “El Cucuy” set his sights directly on Conor McGregor, who has yet to defend the 155-pound belt he won against Eddie Alvarez last November at UFC 205.
“Where you at McNuggets, ya f—-ing piece of s—t,” Ferguson said in the Octagon. “I’m gonna kick your ass. You better come and f—-ing defend that belt. Defend or vacate, motherf—-er.”
While McGregor’s next move remains unknown after he earned a massive payday for boxing Floyd Mayweather in August, Ferguson has undoubtedly established himself as one of the best lightweights in the world.
His third-round submission of Kevin Lee with a triangle choke from his back — just the second such maneuver performed in a UFC title bout — gave Ferguson his 10th consecutive triumph. “The Ultimate Fighter 13” winner dropped the opening round to Lee, but appeared to grow stronger as “The Motown Phenom” faded. That was all part of the plan, Ferguson said.
“The game plan was to make him tired, to piss him off so much he’d use all that aggression and catch him in a submission and I did just that,” Ferguson said. “I wasn’t going to chase him or get sucked into a takedown. I really just resorted to my training, strict training. I stuck to my jab, I should have doubled up — there are a couple things I need to work on. I really work heavy on my submission game; you can’t talk s—t about my submission game.”
Lee, meanwhile, was dejected after the loss and broke down in tears in the Octagon. Lee, who struggled to make weight and admitted to battling a staph infection leading up to the bout, said a move to 170 pounds could be in his future.
“I came out here and gave it my best. I think it’s time for me to go up [in weight],” Lee said. “Tony was the better man tonight. Whatever I’m going through, I’m not going to take that from him. I have nothing but respect for this man.”
As has become the norm, Ferguson didn’t fail to deliver an entertaining performance on fight night. Next time, when Ferguson goes for his 11th straight victory, he knows who he wants to see standing across from him in the Octagon.
“I knew it was going to be a scrap, I knew it was going to be a barnburner and I hope the fans got exactly what they wanted. I’m coming after Conor (McGregor) and that’s what’s up,” he said.