Dana White denies claims that he’s gotten in the way of Tony Ferguson getting a lightweight title shot.
Back in Oct. 2017, Ferguson won the interim Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight title. He submitted Kevin Lee at UFC 216 and was penciled in for a bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223. Ferguson injured his knee after tripping over a cable and was stripped of his interim gold.
White Brushes Off Claims That He’s Denying Ferguson Title Shot
Upon Ferguson’s return, he’s stopped Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone. White said that he assumes “El Cucuy” will get the winner of Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier. During an ESPN Instagram session with fans, White insisted that he isn’t the reason why Ferguson hasn’t received his shot at the undisputed 155-pound title (via MMAFighting.com):
“When did I say that this guy doesn’t deserve anything? I mean if you do your homework on the Tony Ferguson thing, how many times have Tony Ferguson and Khabib [Nurmagomedov] been lined up to fight? It didn’t work out. He was the interim champion, blew his knee out, he had to have ACL surgery. He was out. We just offered him the fight with [Dustin] Poirier to fight Khabib next, he turned the fight down. Then he came back a few weeks later and was ready to fight again.
“Everybody’s acting like I’ve denied Tony his shot at the title. It’s just that he’s had a bad string of luck and things haven’t gone his way.”
Nurmagomedov and Poirier will meet in a title unification clash in September. From there, the UFC will have to make a decision on who get dibs on the next title opportunity. One can’t rule out the possibility of Conor McGregor getting a rematch with Nurmagomedov due to his star power and drawing ability.