Tony Ferguson Reacts To UFC 249 Getting Cancelled
The cancellation of next weekend’s highly anticipated UFC 249 was a crushing blow to the MMA world, as the coronavirus pandemic struck again. In the last couple of weeks, Tony Ferguson has gone from fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title, to having no opponent, to fighting Justin Gaethje for the interim title, to not having a fight.
Twenty minutes before the news broke, Ferguson was having a phone interview with The Orange County Register about his late notice change of opponent at UFC 249.
“Mental’s OK, not too bad. Opponent switch was something different, but I’ve been surrounding myself with the same people. You know that. Nothing’s changed. Family’s good, man. Everything’s good.”
As it turns out, Ferguson isn’t the type of guy to be concerned with catching the coronavirus.
“We’re gonna quarantine that thing,” he said.
Twenty minutes into the interview, many MMA news alerts popped up. This time, the headlines read that Dana White had officially cancelled UFC 249 over growing health concerns because of the ongoing pandemic. The UFC president added that along with 249, all of the promotion’s scheduled events would also be postponed.
The first words that came out by Ferguson’s mouth was an expletive, followed by “Oh wow.”
Silence ensued but it was quickly followed by another expletive and then, “Ohhhhh well. I’m still gonna train,” he said.
The news that broke the hearts of many fighters and fans alike, shocked the former interim lightweight champion, but it didn’t seem to faze him.
“Ummmm… you know what? I’m sure it’s for a good reason. Let’s be real. I gotta keep the faith,” Ferguson said. “I gotta keep this … f*** … keep this small circle close, bro, and just keep focusing on what we can control, which is our heart rate and our breathing.”
Ferguson has had much experience in the fight game, conquering adversity in and out of the cage, as fights have fallen through, such as the ‘cursed’ matchup with the undefeated UFC lightweight champion, Khabib. Perhaps, the four previous times it has been cancelled have prepared him to stay calm in the storm.
“Dude, I’m just gonna keep collecting trophies and doing my same s***,” Ferguson said before pausing and getting emotional. “Every single time I wake up in the morning, when I do my work, say my prayers and I do s***, I hug my little boy… whew… kiss my wife. I just… keep doing what I’m doing. What am I gonna do?”
Ferguson collected himself and said he was going to reach out to Dana White and thank him for going to great lengths to keep UFC 249 alive throughout the current world crisis. Jokingly, he also said he was going to suggest playing Gaethje in EA UFC 3.
The California native is confident he’ll get through this obstacle and will continue pursue his dreams of being the undisputed UFC lightweight champion in the near future.
“The constant is things are always gonna change. The variable is how am I gonna react to it?” Ferguson said. “So we could throw that variable, baby, and we make that the constant. Which is why I’m gonna keep smiling, I’m gonna keep training, and you know what? I’m gonna put on some muscle. Dude, I’m skinny. I’m gonna put on some muscle.
“I’m gonna try my best. I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna try my best. If I fall, I’ll get back up.”
Dana White has said that he believes his ‘Fight Island’ will be ready to hold international fight nights in around one month and that he still plans to hold 42 events as planned in 2020. There is the question now as to whether Ferguson still fights Gaethje or waits for Khabib, who will begin Ramadan at the end of the month.
Do you think Tony Ferguson should still fight Justin Gaethje or wait to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov now?
Check out how the rest of the MMA world reacted to the news that UFC 249 had been postponed: