Former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson has come forward to claim that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has yet to offer an official statement to himself or his management concerning the stripping of his title.
As the interim champion, Tony Ferguson was initially set to face off against top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov in the highly anticipated main event of UFC 223. Title holder Conor McGregor was reportedly intended to be stripped of his belt, so that Ferguson and “The Eagle” could battle it out for the undisputed title.
However, Ferguson injured himself just six days ahead of UFC 223. The fighter was pulled out of the contest, making for the fourth time Nurmagomedov and “El Cucucy” have been scheduled to fight and ultimately cancelled.
Rather, Nurmagomedov went on to fight Al Iaquinta. Despite Iaquinta having not even been ranked within the official top ten of the division at the time, the UFC elected to strip Ferguson of his title as well so that Nurmagomedov and Iaquinta could fight for the undisputed belt.
In the end, “The Eagle” put on a dominant performance over Iaquinta. The Dagestan native earned a unanimous decision victory for the belt.
Speaking to ESPN, Tony Ferguson has now come forward to claim that the UFC has yet to officially inform him that he has been stripped of his title.
“The doctor told me recovery time is anywhere from three to six months with this kind of procedure, but I heal quick. Whenever Khabib’s b—- 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.”
“That’s a big middle finger to ‘T-Ferg’ right there — that’s a kick to the groin if they do that. 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.”