#2 ranked UFC lightweight Tony Ferguson wants a fight, but the pickings are slim.
Division champion Conor McGregor is out until May, when he and longtime partner Dee Devlin are expecting a child; McGregor then plans to box Floyd Mayweather, perhaps in September. #1 ranked Khabib Nurmagomedov dropped out of their fight due to weight-cutting issues; Ramadan will keep him out of the Octagon until late June at the earliest. #3 Eddie Alvarez fights #9 Dustin Poirier in May. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos has moved to welterweight. #7 Michael Chiesa fights #11 Kevin Lee in June.
So Ferguson wants to fight Nate Diaz, but Diaz wants a trilogy fight with Conor McGregor. Now in a recent interview with Heidi Fang for The Las Vegas Review-Journal, “El Cucuy” called on Diaz to fight or retire.
“There’s a few things we’re trying to get in order,” said Ferguson, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “We were trying to get a fight in before Ramadan but Khabib doesn’t want to fight. He has a lot of issues going on with his stomach, so we’re trying to figure out who’s next but I don’t want to go backwards. I want to go forward and I think Nate Diaz, with his ranking at number eight, then Michael Johnson and so on and so forth, I’m kind of just chilling right now. I’m enjoying my time being a father and having fun with this stuff.”
“I’m down for the battle of California. [Diaz] wants to represent 209. I’m from 805 in the Oxnard area. I think, obviously, my hands are a lot better. I think this game is about the glory and not all about the money. Obviously you have to make you piece in this industry but s***, Nate, if you don’t want to fight, move on. Retire. Go do something else because we’re here to fight in this industry and everybody else is taken so Nate would be the next one up.”
“If Conor doesn’t step up, they’ll make an interim belt. I think they’re gonna make an interim belt either way. I just think interim is a word that they throw around a lot and it’s gonna be thrown my way. I don’t think anything else is going to change right now. Conor’s obviously the favorite at my weight class but I don’t play favorite. I knock ‘em all out. I finish them, Darse or knockout, so it doesn’t matter. The division’s full of guys moving up and down weight classes or guys going to fight in other sports, but we’re really here. This is a shark tank. I’m a hammerhead still and you’re gonna see these guys come in my division and I’m gonna chew them up and spit them out. This is my division.”