Tony Ferguson on losing his title: ‘You shouldn’t strip a champion due to a freak injury that happened during a UFC-obligated media event’
Sudden pullout of Tony Ferguson from his scheduled headliner title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov was definitely the biggest dissappointment this week. Ferguson slipped and tore a ligament in his knee during his media obligations related to the upcoming UFC 223.
However, Max Holloway was ready to step in with just a few days’ notice to replace Ferguson and UFC decided to strip Ferguson of the interim title.
“I haven’t spoken with the UFC yet about what’s next,” Ferguson said (via MMA Fighting). “So when I saw what was in the [ESPN] interview, it shocked me, man, it hurt me even more. It was something I couldn’t control with this injury.”
“This all started snowballing this weekend, man. Of all weekends. The UFC hasn’t said anything to me about my title going away, and I don’t think it will go away.”
“I’m not a doctor,” Ferguson said. “But when I saw my MRI image, dude, I don’t know about you, but I was like it looked like a flag with my ligament, it was hanging on the side of the pole. I wanted them to shoot me with some sort of numbing shot or whatever they put, but they said it was likely it would blow up the whole entire knee.”
“I mean seriously, there is a precedent for having a fight for a ‘real’ title and keeping an ‘interim’ title intact. They just did that with Robert Whittaker last year,” Ferguson said.
“You shouldn’t strip a champion due to a freak injury that happened during a UFC-obligated media event.”