If given the chance to take part in a money fight, Tony Ferguson would prefer to face UFC legend Georges St-Pierre instead of Conor McGregor.
Ferguson is set to face Khabib Nurmagomedov in a dream match-up for the lightweight title at UFC 223, which takes place April 7 in Brooklyn, New York.
However, before the fight was scheduled, Ferguson, who currently holds the interim lightweight title, was expected to face McGregor in a title unification clash.
McGregor won the lightweight title when he defeated Eddie Alvarez via TKO in the second round of their UFC 205 clash back in November 2016.
The Irishman would eventually take time off before putting his UFC career on hold to fight Floyd Mayweather in a cross-code boxing match in August last year. Following his loss to the former pound-for-pound boxing great, McGregor was expected to return to the octagon promptly.
But with nothing moving forward in terms of scheduling a fight and UFC President Dana White claiming the 29-year-old would only return in September, he announced McGregor will be stripped of the belt with Ferguson taking on Nurmagomedov for the undisputed title.
Should Ferguson beat Nurmagomedov, he is not interested in facing McGregor, even if it would mean earning his most lucrative payday as he believes the trash-talking Crumlin native is not interested in fighting anymore after earning nine figures from his Mayweather fight.
“Conor who?” Ferguson said at a recent media lunch Thursday when asked how important a fight with McGregor was. “The guy’s not in the picture. Bless his heart, he’s made his money, he’s doing his thing, he’s got an education for his kid, that’s what we all want. …With that much loot, what are you going to do now? You’re going to go back to a sport where you have to bleed? Take care of yourself, do your thing.”
“If you have to hype it up and you want to come back because that’s the sport and the athlete in you – the guy I met at Paradigm Sports – when I shook his hand and said ‘You better stay at 145, because at 155 we’re going to have problems.’ He’s nowhere to be found so if he wants to come back that’s great but my concern is not him, it’s the next person in line.”
Instead, “El Cucuy” — who started his career as a 170-pounder — would prefer to face UFC welterweight legend St-Pierre, who he considers a dream match-up.
“GSP,” Ferguson said. “I mean, that’s what I signed up for in the beginning. I was 170 pounds. 155 [pounds] was forced on me. 170 pounds — where I have 12 fights. …I mean, GSP, literally if he wants a money fight, he’s an athlete. We all have to pay our bills. We all have to pay our taxes.”
St-Pierre dominated the welterweight division as champion for years until his retirement in 2013. “GSP” recently returned after a four-year hiatus in November last year to defeat Michael Bisping and win the middleweight title at UFC 217.
The French-Canadian went on to vacate his belt less than a month later after suffering a bout of ulcerative colitis, though he has not ruled out another return to the octagon.