Tony Ferguson has proven to stand the test of time in the UFC, turning in win after win and one spellbinding performance after another for nearly a decade. At one point, Tony Ferguson even had a 12-fight winning streak, which was recently snapped by Justin Gaethje at UFC 249. But in spite of all of Ferguson’s accomplishments, he has yet to receive a shot at an undisputed UFC title.
As diehard fans will painfully inform you, this is largely due to the snakebitten fight that is Khabib vs. Ferguson falling through repeatedly, twice of which were scheduled world title fights. But for Tony Ferguson, those limited occasions do not solve the riddle for why he has not received a title shot yet. So Ferguson has learned to celebrate what he has already accomplished without the need to chase anything more.
“I’ve got the belt in my room,” Ferguson told reporters in a UFC 256 virtual media day session. “I could go after another belt, but how much greed is that? I’ve got an ‘Ultimate Fighter’ trophy. I’ve got a Fighters Only award trophy. I’ve got a UFC belt. I’ve got medals, and I’m ‘Lord of the Rings’ with all my championship rings. How much greed can you want? You want to be like Khabib (Nurmagomedov) and hold on to it?”
Contentment aside, Tony Ferguson still does not know why the title shot has eluded him for so long, which has caused him to contemplate the reason behind this fact. Whatever the reason is, he is certain it has nothing to do with merit.
“I don’t know what the problem is,” Ferguson said. “I don’t know if it’s because I’m Mexican. I’m American with Mexican parts. Twelve-fight win streak. Eight years in the making, before women’s sports were even in. Conor (McGregor) was on welfare. … All these different things, and I still didn’t earn a title shot.”
We will never know if Tony Ferguson would have received a title shot in 2020 had he not accepted the UFC 249 fight with Justin Gaethje, and we will never know all the UFC’s reasoning that led to Tony Ferguson never receiving a title shot over the years. But as the case has been in the past with Ferguson and many others, if he keeps winning, he can’t be denied, regardless of any perceived obstacles put in his way by the UFC brass and/or the MMA Gods.
What are your thoughts on Tony Ferguson’s comments? Do you believe his Mexican heritage played a role in him never receiving a shot at an undisputed title?