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Tony Ferguson Preparing For Nurmagomedov Fight

tony ferguson

Tony Ferguson was a guest on “Submission Radio” recently and discussed a number of subjects.

Ferguson, who has won nine straight fights, talked about his status as the top fighter in the world, Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov and more.

How long Tony believes he’s got until he reaches his goal of being the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world

“It’s already a reality. I’m already in title contention. I’ve got these guys in a chess match and I’m calling three moves. The lightweight title will be mine, but I’m looking for multiples and I am looking for that best pound for pound spot. Getting that best pound-for-pound spot will mean that I do have multiple titles around my waist. I’ve never been much for the accolades and for the trophies and for the merits because at one time in my life I kind of got board of all those. Wrestling these tournaments every single weekend and getting a medal just for like going out there and competing, and I just started throwing them in a box. I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want that title to come to my hands and be like, “nah, I don’t feel like it was deserved or it wasn’t earned or whatever” – not saying that any of my accolades weren’t, but I want it to be special. I want it to be super special and just super dope, and even if it’s not special to everybody else, at least it is to me. And honestly, I don’t fight for anybody else besides myself and my family, so therefore I win. If anybody wants me to go for the title and they’re telling me that, I’m gonna go the complete opposite way. Just in this fight game and in the fact that that’s what everybody else is doing. I’m not a follower, I’m a leader. I don’t ever try to follow anybody’s lead. I try to pave my own path. That way, it’s trial and error, man. Sometimes you don’t have a blueprint to pave the path that you’re given.”

Tony’s plans on going down to featherweight and if he can really make 145 and fight Aldo

“I guarantee you I can make 145. This last fight camp I had no nutritionist’s help. I did my own thing and I did it really well. Like I said, I had to get away from all the bullshit and really get back in tune with my own self and my family, where my head was at and finding the fun back in this sport. Because when you stop having fun in this sport, the weight cuts become harder and everything else becomes harder. When I’m having fun, I’m doing the salsa dance inside the cage, I’m throwing some different kind of combos, my feet are there. You know, I feel my feet underneath me, I’m not slipping on some stupid stickers, I’m doing my homework on all this stuff. I’m actually taking this a little bit more serious than I did before. I’m having more fun with it. You know, it’s not becoming that wrestling thing where I used to throw my medals inside the box anymore. I’m having fun with this where I want to start experimenting with my moves again and start coming up with new things, not just a Imanari roll – by the way, EA Sports needs to update my rankings on my shit too (laughs). So that I start throwing some superman punches off the cage too. Just take some notes.”

“What I’m trying to do is change the game. Not a lot. Just enough so people notice it and the up-and-coming people try to beat whatever I’m doing. They’re going to go out there and try to double up on what I’m doing and keep me competitive. Because those are the guys that are really keeping us competitive, not these guys at the top.”

What belts Tony is focusing on in his future

“155, 145, 170 and if I’m fat enough and I get a strength and conditioning coach that wants to put some muscle on me, 185. But I highly doubt that. I like Bisping, Bisping’s pretty chill. I can float up to 205, 210, no problem. I got the frame for it and I’ve got the attitude and the mental conditioning to train for it. These guys are not quick enough and I have the conditioning to push these guys to the limit and make them break – quoting Chael Sonnen because he has seen me do this inside over at Reign Training Centre. And it doesn’t matter what weight class they were in. I put the pressure on these dudes, I’m gonna make them fold. And that’s my mental attitude because I was the captain of a two-time national championship grand valley state university team. I had to make the decisions to push the team, even if I didn’t want to or if I was home or whatever. If I had homework or I had to work, I had to make sure that I could represent. I found that competition was in my blood, man. So this is where I’m at and I take that same attitude that I do and I call it blue chip mental toughness. And wherever I go, whatever weight class, I’m gonna bring that attitude with me and I’m gonna enforce it and I’m gonna have fun with it and you’ll see me with my hand raised.”

If Tony feels like he’s the toughest match up for Conor McGregor stylistically after McGregor said that the toughest match ups for him are longer guys like Nate Diaz rather than guys like Eddie Alvarez

“Well of course he’s going to pick on a number five. He doesn’t want to pick on anyone else that’s higher than that. I mean, the guy’s picking his opponents. He’s a paper champ. When you’re doing that, of course you’re going to be close and you’re going to be watching who you’re fighting. A long and lankier type of opponent is gonna be probably one of the best threats, but it’s also gonna be one of the best fighters for him because he’s going to go toe to toe. Now when you put Conor against a guy like me, who’s going to be unpredictable, attacking your ankles and attacking your chin and your mid-section, and you got Khabib Nurmagomedov, who actually could take a punch here and there. And I mean, he’s got some time off, so I mean he’s got full rest recovery in his body. He’s going to be able to take the punishment, but can you take that ground and pound and that grinding? Conor poses no threat to what myself or Khabib has. I see no threat in this dude. This dude is just a lot of talk. He has a nice left hand, but my solid straight right and my left hook and my lead uppercut and my inside leg kicks – honestly, my whole repertoire is better than what he’s got. You put numbers on top of that, I’ll bet my head will be raised. And I don’t want these guys, regardless of when I fight them, I’m not gonna try to go out there and go for the quick finish. I want them to go through the pain. I want them to go through the five rounds with me. That’s what I want now. This has been such a great opportunity for me to go out there and do all my finishes to get all my highlight films. Perfect. Great. Now I want as much mat time as I can get. I want to put these guys out there and make them quit, so that there is no rematch. So everyone can see how fake these guys are and put them through the punishment, tap them out later on, make them want to quit. Unanimous decision. Doesn’t matter. Make them go the five rounds and then just make them think twice about wanting to fight again.”

If Tony believes that if him and Khabib fought it would be the real number 1 and 2 guys in the division

“Yeah. I can’t really see Conor as the champion. I see right now as the title is open. I mean, Conor is taking a step off – I don’t even like throw his name in the object because the dude fought like what, one person at 155? You know what I mean? It’s like I’ve been sitting here – and even Khabib, he’s been kind of inactive. I’ve been the most active in this damn place. I’m pissed, but yet I’m drinking my tea, my spearmint with my pinky up in the air like Kermit frog saying. But that don’t matter. I’m racking up points here, man. And that’s all that matters. I’m gonna go down in the books as a living legend, and that’s what’s gonna happen. I’m gonna be in the UFC Hall of Fame. I’m the first lightweight to have this long and lengthy record, which I don’t give a shit about. The only thing I think about is trumping my last fight. And with Khabib, I don’t see him posing a threat. I mean, I stopped all four of RDA’s shots. I mean, if RDA got one shot on me, I could say that Khabib could manhandle me. Yeah, you guys could use that. But that dude got zero shots on me. I mean, literally we spent zero time on the ground. Like he didn’t want no fucking part of it. The one time I got on the ground, he did a really nice timed kick and kicked my leg out from underneath me, which is great. Props to him. But he didn’t want no part of my rubber guard or my go-go clinch or nothing along those lines. And Khabib would just feel lost in my snap down city. That dude has nowhere to go.”

If the UFC reached out and said that Khabib will be Tony’s next fight

“It’s what the fans want. The fans want the fight. I hear this all the time on my Twitter and my Instagram. People are blowing it up. They know Conor is out. They know Khabib needs a fight. They know that Khabib and I were supposed to fight in January but that dude backed out. He had some booboos that he had to take care of. So it’s okay. Go out to AKA and heal your booboos with Daniel Cormier a little bit. You guys can paint your face and eat some cake and pies and do all that and get fat again. But when you got some real fights coming up, like in march, and AKA wants to step up to the plate, or if another fight wants to pop up, I’m down man. I’m ready to sign on the dotted line. And I think the UFC knows that, and I think it needs to be for that belt. I don’t think, it NEEDS to be for that belt, dammit. And straight up, I’ve been putting in time, putting in my numbers. This is my time. Let’s get some heat going for this thing. I mean, I can stay and do this for the Ultimate Fighter. We can do Team Khabib versus Team Ferguson. That would be dope.”

On what Tony means by wanting to fight for the title next. If he wants to see McGregor get stripped

“No way. Let’s throw it up for an interim belt. If he’s going to take a step off for a little while, then they need to throw in an interim belt. They need to throw an interim belt out there and have a champ out there. And then when he comes back, he’ll be ready for that ass whopping, which will be me.”

If Tony would be interested in fighting Khabib in Russia

“A fight in Russia? I’d rather do it in Vegas, personally. Honestly, personally I would like to. I guess I really wouldn’t mind. I’m not gonna say yes or no. We’ll have to talk about it, if the money’s right. But I’d like to see it in Vegas where it all started, where we were supposed to fight at before, either MGM or Mandalay Bay. I think pay-per-view too, which would be actually pretty dope. T-Mobile arena which actually would be a lot better.’

If he doesn’t get Khabib next if Tony has a backup plan on who he’d face

“Oh, there are always contingency plans. For me, I like to stay competitive. I don’t like to sit on the sidelines and I’m a super fighter. So I’m sure with my management, myself, we can always think of a plan just to keep me active. Regardless if it’s through the EBI, the Eddie Bravo Invitational. I know he’s got a couple of different submission grappling tournaments coming up. I just like to stay active. My whole entire life I’ve always been a multiple-sport athlete and I hate getting bored. I like to stay moving, man, and just keep going. So that’s what you’ll see me doing. But I’m gonna keep aiming for March, like I said after my fight. I believe January was a little too close. I didn’t think anyone was gonna sign the dotted line just yet. But February is nice, March, April. It doesn’t really matter. I’m ready for anything. I’m gonna keep training, I’m gonna add in some brand new training skills which you guys should keep up to date with on my Instagram. By next week I’ll be doing some new martial arts and I’ll be posting some new videos. Yeah man, this is about the time now where you guys can see me doing some mitts and some cool stuff, some Jiu Jitsu and having some fun now on the camera. Because it got to that point now where everyone knows how to defend a punch and defend a choke. So here we go.”

On him versus Khabib on TUF and how it would be entertaining to see the back and forth and rivalry between both men

“Team Khabib versus Team Ferguson. Can you believe that? That would be amazing.”

“I would think so, one hundred percent. Because my boys would train a hell of a lot harder than his guys, and I our guys will go out there and just put a whooping on their boys. That’s all I’m gonna say. They have no chance. AKA has no chance against my guys when their training starts. So that’s it.”

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