The UFC’s top lightweight contender Tony Ferguson claimed recently that he managed to spook the 155lb champ, Conor McGregor, at his Toronto press conference on Wednesday.
This particular media event saw perhaps the most explosive combat sports press conference in recent memory as MMA’s Conor McGregor unloaded an absolute storm of insults at boxing’s Floyd Mayweather. If the first of the four planned events this week could have been seen as a feeling-out process, then last night’s offering served as proof that the momentum was shifting in favour of the Irishman.
Of course, when it comes down to it, the press events matter little in comparison to the actual fight on August 26, but still, given McGregor’s knack for penetrating the mind of his opponents, it will be interesting to see how this relationship develops as both Conor and Floyd continue to spend time in each other’s presence.
Many have voiced their annoyance at the fact that McGregor has taken a leave of absence from the sport of MMA to pursue this lucrative matchup and as far as the promotion’s lightweight title picture is concerned, there is perhaps no one more disappointed with this fight than the division’s top contender, Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson.
Ferguson, who won the thirteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter as a welterweight, has seen some truly astonishing success at 155lb, blasting his way through his last nine opponents, taking scalps such as Edson Barboza, Josh Thomson and the former champ Rafael dos Anjos on the way to claiming his spot atop the rankings.
Funnily enough, Ferguson was actually in attendance at last night’s press event in Toronto and in an interview with MMAJunkie claimed that the ‘Notorious One’ actually made brief eye-contact with him before things got underway before quickly breaking it and looking away.
“He looks at me for a split-second, and I can tell that ***** saw the real ghost. I’m a Mayweather fan, personally, hit and not get hit. He knows I’m there. I could be a much worse heel if I really wanted to, but it’s not my style. I’m going to be me; I’m not going to be Conor.
“You’re putting the lightweight division on stall. Conor’s not defending the belt. He wants to go on to other ventures. That’s fine. Defend or vacate.”
Like him or not, it does seem like Ferguson might be over exaggerating to some degree given Conor’s near-bulletproof calm in the face of adversity, but still, the fact that he – a possible future opponent of McGregor’s – was there, still adds to the constantly bubbling narrative that has been forming between the two and though boxing is McGregor’s priority now, do not be surprised if we see these two fight inside the octagon before long.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena