Last week, reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov said he doesn't ever expect to face Tony Ferguson after Ferguson was beaten badly by Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 this past May.
"One day you're going to go down and his day come. It was May. Tony Ferguson is finished now,” Nurmagomedov recently told ESPN. “He's gonna come back, and someone gonna beat him again, I believe. Because when you take damage like this, you'll never going to be the same. Never. Even if you're Tony Ferguson.”
Not so fast, says Ferguson. Although the fight has already fallen through on five different occasions for various reasons, “El Cucuy” is confident his day with Nurmagomedov will come. And although his setback to Gaethje was jarring, Ferguson is not happy that many in the MMA community seem to have forgotten that he authored a 12-bout winning streak in the UFC prior to that defeat.
"I see fear in his voice if he thinks he has to talk bad about people," Ferguson told ESPN. "He can't put that s--- in my head. I will fight Khabib at one point or another. He will see me before he retires. We'll make that a point.
"I think everybody is writing me off after one loss, and f--- them. The casual fan base is trying to, but my hardcore fans are too much. They know too much. My value is way too much.”
Ferguson revealed that he wants to return to action in December, but he isn’t thrilled about the possibility of facing Michael Chandler if the former Bellator champion is making more than he is for the proposed bout. For that fight to happen, Ferguson wants the promotion to renegotiate his contract.
"Michael Chandler hasn't earned his way to the top," Ferguson said. "But if that's who Dana White wants me to fight, you know me: I put my boots on, and I go to work. When it came to COVID, I made weight, and I went to work. There was a point, 72 hours, it was myself, Dana, [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby and my wife, just trying to make that s--- happen. If I hadn't taken that fight, how many people would not have gotten paid?
"Do I want to fight? Yes. I want to fight in December. I'm f---ing training. Let's go. But I don't think somebody who doesn't even belong here should be paid more than me. That's what I'm saying.”
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