The Costa Mesa fighter turned interim light-weight champion Saturday night time at UFC 216 by submitting Kevin Lee by triangle choke within the third spherical, then referred to as out the longtime light-weight champion from Eire.
“Tony’s the interim champion. Conor’s the champion. That’s the battle that has to occur,” White informed reporters after Ferguson gained his tenth consecutive UFC struggle, enhancing to 23-three.
“Tony retains coming ahead and Conor’s superior. There’s no approach it’s not an awesome struggle.”
The date to perform a gathering by the top of the calendar yr is Dec. 30 at UFC 219 in Las Vegas.
“I’m not injured. Let’s go tonight,” Ferguson stated. “I’m recent. I’m prepared to return to [training] Monday.”
Ferguson well banked on the assumption that the Lee would start to fatigue because the struggle wore on, after needing to drop vital weight for Friday’s weigh-in.
“I needed to reveal to everybody that I’m a full, full MMA fighter,” Ferguson stated of touchdown kicks towards Lee, then profitable regardless that Lee was atop him within the third spherical.
That elevation talent, by Ferguson’s considering, leaves McGregor subsequent.
After profitable the light-weight belt in November, McGregor took a break to await the delivery of his son, then he boxed Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Aug. 26 in a profitable boxing match, dropping by technical knockout within the tenth spherical.
“I’m saving my good materials” for McGregor, Ferguson stated. “If Conor’s subsequent … I’ll ankle decide him. He’ll be operating away. I’ll end him.”
Whereas McGregor can also be believed to be fascinated about a trilogy battle towards Nate Diaz at one hundred fifty five kilos, Diaz could also be pricing himself out of the bout, and White stated, “no one” is discussing Diaz for McGregor’s subsequent bout.
Ferguson theorized: “The boy’s scared. He’s not talked about my identify one time. However I don’t care anymore. That is chess and that is examine. He has nowhere to run. He can set [the belt] down, or run away.”
Lee (sixteen-three) stated dropping 19 kilos lower than 24 hours earlier than Friday’s weigh-in and battling via a staph an infection he stated he stored secret was “an excessive amount of to deal with … however Tony Ferguson was the higher fighter tonight.”
Lee stated he’s strongly contemplating a transfer as much as welterweight (one hundred seventy kilos), but in addition pushed for the formation of one hundred sixty five-pound weight class.
Ferguson’s ascent to a belt arrived minutes after flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1) broke the UFC report for many consecutive profitable title defenses (eleven) within the night time’s co-fundamental occasion.
“It’s good to not have Anderson Silva’s identify subsequent to mine,” Johnson stated after profitable his thirteenth consecutive UFC battle.
Johnson’s historic victory got here by a shocking armbar submission of No.three-rated flyweight Ray Borg.
“I shifted his weight. I used to be like, ‘Acquired you.’ I grunted and threw him up and stored squeezing and squeezing,” Johnson stated of his seemingly unprecedented throw of Borg that was shortly adopted by Johnson grabbing Borg’s arm, establishing the end.
“Clearly, I’m not within the sport to take concussions or blows. [My] talent set is to maneuver fluidly … I take a look at my opponent to see what they’re good at and take it away from them after which I search for the submission or end.”
White stated Johnson is the most effective UFC fighter of all time.
Borg virtually applauded Johnson’s creativity. “It was sneaky. It stunk being on the receiving finish of it.”