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Tony Ferguson says Georges St-Pierre is the ‘money fight’ that interests him most

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LOS ANGELES — Conor McGregor looms large over the impending UFC 223 main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov on April 7.

That’s understandable, as McGregor has been holding the UFC lightweight championship since November 2016 without defending it. Ferguson is defending a title he won last fall as an interim belt, and UFC president Dana White has been trying to thread the needle by calling UFC 223’s main event a title fight while also not formally stripping McGregor of the belt.

But while a bout with McGregor would no doubt put a lot of money in Ferguson’s pocket, should Ferguson beat Nurmagomedov, there’s another “money fight” that catches his eye: A bout with Georges St-Pierre.

“I mean, GSP, literally if he wants a money fight, he’s an athlete,” Ferguson said Thursday. “We all have to pay our bills. We all have to pay our taxes. Straight up.”

Mind you, it’s not all about the Benjamins here. St-Pierre was in year four if his five-plus-year second welterweight title reign when Ferguson entered the UFC through winning The Ultimate Fighter 13. The TUF 13 tournament was contested at 170 pounds, where Ferguson competed at for most of his early career fights.

St-Pierre was the fighter Ferguson had his sights on while he made his way up, and if GSP, who is now a former two-weight class champion, is in the market for an opponent, it’s still a fight Ferguson would like to have.

“That’s what I signed up for in the beginning,” Ferguson said. “I was 170 pounds; 155 was forced on me. I mean, that forced the move, ultimate reality, then that’s not the end result; 170 pounds, where I had 12 fights.”

Still, having gotten this far, Ferguson isn’t going to allow himself to get too distracted from his tasks at hand as a champion.

“When you’re just going for money fights, when this thing (the UFC title) starts losing luster ... it becomes tarnished,” Ferguson said.