After a couple days to think it over, the gloves have come off.
But now that’s he’s back home from Las Vegas, the Southern California native is frustrated that he never had the chance to compete after a big buildup. And he’s putting the blame right on his would-be opponent.
“It was very disrespectful and very unprofessional what his camp did, especially after all that was said leading up to the fight,” Ferguson said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
When the news of the fight fallout rocked the MMA world on Friday, Ferguson was unaware, he was in the middle of a brutal weight cut of his own. Ferguson quietly got through his weigh in Friday morning and then went back to his hotel room to take a nap.
“I felt like sh*t, the right side of my body was hurting, my back was hurting, but you guys never know me to say anything,” Ferguson said. “I had two more pounds to lose in the morning. I went, I lost my weight in the morning, it sucked, we went to the weigh-ins, I did my part, I went on the scale. I went back to the hotel room and said I need to lay down, I don’t feel too good. I don’t know, from just eating and rehydrating too fast or what it was.”
It didn’t take long after his nap to figure out something was up.
“As soon as I woke up from a nap, literally woke up from a nap, and I’m looking up at my wife and one of my managers and they’re telling me, they said ‘sit down.’ I thought someone from my family died or something crazy. They said Khabib went to the hospital, so I’m like alright, he went to the hospital. I’m thinking in my head, ‘okay, we still have a fight.’ I relaxed, I’m not sure what happened, no one heard from him. Then I heard he went to hospital and the fight was going to be canceled. So you tell me how you’d feel. I was in shock.”
The fallout puts Ferguson in a tough position as he tries to plot his next step forward. He’s won nine consecutive fights, understandably doesn’t want to take steps backwards in competition, and lightweight champion Conor McGregor is out of action.
And while the bout with Nurmagomedov, which was supposed to be for an interim title, remains the matchup between the clear-cut top two contenders, Ferguson is hesitant to sign on for a rescheduled date. This was, after all, the third time a fight between the two fell out, twice due to issues on Nurmagomedov’s part.
“I would love to fight Khabib, but there’s no guarantee he’s going to show up and make the weight.” Ferguson said. “I found out, too, the he was eating tiramisu, a couple weeks ago on Embedded. I’m like, what is this guy doing? Really? It’s plain disrespectful, it unprofessional.
“My next fight needs to be a title fight. I’ve earned every single right of the way,” Ferguson continued. “Somebody that’s guaranteed to show up. I’ve done all my homework, I’ve done, made my ends me for this fight. But if we’re talking Khabib, there’s got to be some sort of guarantee or insurance for this, man. It’s a crazy bug that I can’t squash and its a tough pill to swallow right now.”