Tony Ferguson hasn’t been shy about criticizing Conor McGregor and his reign as the lightweight champ, but if “El Cucuy” wins the interim belt, it looks like the Irish star can anticipate a steady stream of call outs.
Ferguson will battle Kevin Lee for the interim 155 belt on Saturday, in a bout that will headline UFC 216. Heading into the fight, Ferguson is riding one of the most impressive runs right now in the game, as he’s won nine straight contests. During that time, the ridiculously, dangerous fighter has defeated top contender Edson Barboza, and former champ, Rafael dos Anjos.
Saturday’s scrap will take place at a time, when it’s not clear when and who McGregor will fight next. But, during media day for UFC 216, Ferguson had these rather interesting comments for the champ (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I don’t like red panties. I like blue panties,” Ferguson said. “He’s got to defend or vacate. He’s going to have to fight me. There’s no insider information. He’s never spoken my name. I’m one of the most ruthless vatos out there. This guy, he doesn’t want a part of me. I’m not aiming at him. I don’t give two (expletives).
“I don’t want to fight someone who doesn’t want to fight me or compete against some of the best. When you’re saying, ‘I’ll fight anybody, anytime.’ You’re (expletive) full of (expletive). For me, I’ve been fighting anybody, any time, any weight – straight up.”
Now, the red panties zinger aside, it’s going to be really, really interesting to see what unfolds, if Ferguson defeats Lee. The argument has been made that since “El Cucuy” isn’t a huge draw yet, McGregor might opt for the bigger fight with Nate Diaz. While it’s unlikely that McGregor has never, ever, uttered Ferguson’s name, it does seem like he hasn’t really gone out of his way to engage “El Cucuy” verbally. Although, he has called this Saturday’s headliners “bums”.
In addition, McGregor recently reported he’s going to watch this weekend’s fight, and gauge the energy, in terms of deciding his next move. He also said he cares about defending the lightweight title and legitimizing the ranks. So, maybe we will see McGregor take on Ferguson or Lee in his next scrap.