Tony Ferguson, often described as one of the grittiest fighters in mixed martial arts, is far from throwing in the towel. Despite a six-fight losing streak, the former interim lightweight champion is determined to prove that he's "not even close to being done." Ferguson's plan involves a comeback at UFC 296 against Paddy Pimblett on December 16 in Las Vegas, followed by a dream showdown with Conor McGregor.
Ferguson, with a record of 25-9 MMA and 15-7 UFC, has his sights set on a brighter future. He acknowledges Pimblett's potential but makes it clear that he's eager to face international stars like McGregor. He told ESPN,
"Going after Khabib for a long time and going after 'McNuggets' (Conor McGregor), this is about as close as it's going to get for right now. So as soon as we get through this dude, we'll go after Conor if he'll sign on the dotted line and get through USADA."
Ferguson's journey to a potential McGregor bout has been a rollercoaster. He was lined up to face McGregor for a title unification bout after winning the interim title in October 2017 at UFC 216. Unfortunately, the highly anticipated matchup never materialized.
The 39-year-old fighter has reconnected with his old team and is confident that he hasn't lost his edge despite his recent losing streak. He acknowledges the importance of letting go of certain things and focusing on those that truly matter, such as faith, family, and friends.
While some speculate that the UFC might be using him to bolster Paddy Pimblett's star power, Ferguson's passion for competition remains unwavering. Retirement is not on his radar. He emphasized,
"I don't want to retire. It's not in my thought process. It's not about getting cut. It's not about doing all this stuff. It's about competing."
Ferguson's renewed commitment involves giving his all in training, being coachable, and seeking assistance when needed. With his warrior spirit intact, Tony Ferguson is ready to tackle Paddy Pimblett at UFC 296 and, if all goes well, chase the ultimate dream of sharing the Octagon with the enigmatic Conor McGregor once again.