Ferguson, the interim UFC lightweight champion, let his thoughts be known Saturday night after Nurmagomedov scored a ruthlessly dominant win over Barboza in Las Vegas. Responding to a UFC tweet that quoted Nurmagomedov’s claims of wanting to fight both Ferguson and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor in the same night, Ferguson declared that he would take care of both of his divisional rivals in 2018 then move up to 170 pounds to seek a second belt.
Ferguson’s statement can be read below.
Don't Care If The @ufc Approves, I'll Cut @TheNotoriousMMA ... Drop @TeamKhabib & Move Up To Welterweight Either B4 Or After I'm Done w/ This Division & Rid It Of The Trash At The Top. Pollution Has Accumilated Over The Years, Time To Clean House #DefendOrVacate -TheeChamp https://t.co/l6XkH50ZQY— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) December 31, 2017
Ferguson (23-3) captured the interim UFC lightweight title in October with a third-round submission over Kevin Lee at UFC 216. Ferguson was previously scheduled to vie for the interim title against Nurmagomedov at UFC 209, however the fight was canceled the day before the event due to a botched weigh cut by Nurmagomedov.
McGregor won the UFC lightweight title in Nov. 2016 with a second-round knockout of Eddie Alvarez. The popular Irishman did not compete in MMA in 2017. His only combat sports appearance during the year came in August when he made his professional boxing debut in a blockbuster contest against Floyd Mayweather. McGregor lost to Mayweather via 10th round TKO. A timetable for his return to MMA is unclear.