Tony Ferguson open to fight with Jose Aldo or others at featherweight
Tony Ferguson isn't looking to wait for his next fight.
The No. 2 ranked lightweight contender who is currently riding a nine fight win streak while fresh off a win over former champion Rafael dos Anjos in November is ready to book his next bout already.
According to Ferguson, the UFC came calling with a potential offer for January card in Anaheim, Calif. that was eventually rescheduled but the opponent that was being discussed wasn't going to be ready in time.
“I'm looking towards the next fight. I worked on healing already. I had something signed up in January already but the opponent needed some more time to heal apparently. I'm ready to go. Less talk, more walk,” Ferguson told FOX Sports.
“They wanted something to happen in Anaheim and I was pretty down for it. Khabib's (Nurmagomedov) name came up and management talked about it and they came back at me that he needed more time. So whatever. It would have been awesome to fight in my hometown. It would have been bad ass.”
Nurmagomedov has expressed interest in facing Ferguson as well but he preferred a later date like March instead. Ferguson said he's happy to fight Nurmagomedov in March or if the UFC wants to give him another matchup that's acceptable as well.
While most competitors are chasing belts, Ferguson is focused on becoming the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport and if that takes winning a title then that's what he's going to do.
“The belt is extra cookies on top of the cake but it's not really something I'm focused on,” Ferguson said. “Once I lose focus that's when I'm going to go tumbling down the hill. I feel like I've gotten to this spot and I deserve whatever I get coming, which is that belt.
“I'm looking for pound-for-pound list to be the best in the world and it takes belts to get there so let's get there.”
Current lightweight champion Conor McGregor is on sabbatical while awaiting the birth of his first child while also taking some well deserved time off after four fights in the span of just 11 months.
Nurmagomedov has mentioned the possibility of the UFC introducing an interim title for his next fight but Ferguson prefers to leave that decision up to the promotion and his management team to decide.
If McGregor and the lightweight title aren't available, Ferguson is interested in a couple of other possibilities including a move to either 145 pounds or 170 pounds if the right fights present themselves.
There's even a chance Ferguson would be interested in facing off with current featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
“Maybe (Jose) Aldo. Jump down to 145, see what's up down there,” Ferguson said. “155's pretty fun. Maybe bump up to 170. Just thinking about my weight right now, my wife got me this juice cleanse because I was getting kind of heavy. I should step on the scale right now — 185 (pounds).”
Judging by his current weight, Ferguson appears to be an unlikely candidate to shed 40 pounds to make the featherweight limit, but he says the challenge is part of the fun in doing it.
“I can do it. I'm a wrestler. I've been doing this a long time. I'm really focused,” Ferguson said. “145 would be really fun to test myself mentally, too. A lot of people, they like to climb these peaks and they like to do all these other things. I like to push my body to just extremity to get past the mental toughness barriers.
“So fighting at 145, that would be great. If Kenny Florian can do it, I can do it.”
Obviously, Ferguson's suggestion isn't a declaration that he's moving to featherweight by any means, but it certainly sounds like he's open to the idea.
“I think I would pose a big threat at 145,” Ferguson said.
What's more likely, however, is that Ferguson will eventually get matched up with Nurmagomedov after the two lightweights have twice been paired together in the past only to see injuries prevent the bout from happening. Now that they are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in the division, a Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov showdown appears very likely in 2017.