In an interview with ESPN on Monday, Ferguson (25-3 MMA, 15-1 UFC) recalled an exchange with Nurmagomedov (28-0 MMA, 12-0 UFC) and members of his team at a hotel. Ferguson did not detail exactly when the altercation occurred, but he indicated it was multi-fold.
While he checked into a hotel, Ferguson claimed to have been “circled” by Nurmagomedov and his crew. Shortly thereafter, Ferguson said Nurmagomedov and his manager, Ali Abdelaziz, tried to intimidate him once again at an event.
“I was like, ‘Dude, what the (expletive)?’” Ferguson said. “Then, later on, my team and I had another run-in with them. I was like, ‘Seriously?’ These dudes are just a bunch of (expletive) bullies. I stood up.
“Ali Abdelaziz and I exchanged some words over at the fights not too long ago, and he knows exactly what the (expletive) he’s dealing with. I don’t play around, dude. I really don’t and when I do, it’s cool and fun and games.”
Nurmagomedov and Abdelaziz weren’t the only ones with whom Ferguson allegedly had run-ins. “El Cucuy” said Nurmagomedov’s longtime coach at American Kickboxing Academy, Javier Mendez, scoffed at him when they brushed shoulders.
“The elevator doors open, and here’s Javier looking at me,” Ferguson said. “I didn’t realize who he was. I just realized he was a coach. He looked at me, and he kind of went, ‘Pfffft. That’s him?’ I walked by, and I figured it out. I was like, ‘What the (expletive), dude?’”
Ferguson indicated the altercations have made him hungrier for a matchup with the Dagestani champion. If he has it his way, the fifth time will be the charm, and the two will square off at UFC 245 in December.
“You know what? I’m calling it right now,” Ferguson said. “We called it already. We need to do this (expletive) in December. We’re going to let Khabib eat his hamburgers with cheese and all the other (expletive). Enjoy it fathead. Don’t get too fat. I’m going at you harder than ‘Tiramisu Tuesdays.’ It’s still there, man. It’s popping. I’ve got some new (expletive) for you guys. I’m excited.”
It’s title shot or bust for Ferguson, who voiced frustration with his recent inactivity. The former interim UFC lightweight champ wants to stay more active and said if Nurmagomedov isn’t ready to compete in December, he isn’t willing to play any games.
“Whatever he says, (he’s) got to accept the fight,” Ferguson said. “Defend or vacate, seriously. Just set it down and (expletive) walk away, buddy. Tell everybody you don’t want to fight me, you’re scared, retire, do whatever the (expletive) you want to do. You made your money. Go sit down and walk away.
“If not, that’s where I want to fight. I want to fight in December. I’m tired of fighting once a year. I’ll be real with you. I’m a competitor. I’m a high-level competitor. I’m a multi-sport athlete. I don’t like sitting here and watching people compete.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Tony Ferguson alludes to hotel encounters as more motivation for Khabib Nurmagomedov fight