New UFC interim-lightweight champion Tony Ferguson has made a lot of noise since defeating Kevin Lee at UFC 216, making it abundantly clear that next on his list is division champion Conor McGregor.
After a year away from the Octagon, McGregor has been busying himself with becoming a father and making his lucrative boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather. In his absence, Ferguson has confirmed his position as the number one contender in the 155lb division and is now demanding his shot at the belt.
Having consistently stated that McGregor should either ‘defend or vacate’ the title, Ferguson has stepped up his insistence that the champion either faces him or relinquishes what he won in devastating fashion at UFC 205 back in November of 2016.
Since his victory on Saturday night, the now interim-champion has changed his position on McGregor. Gone is the call to ‘defend or vacate’ and in its place has emerged a tirade of stinging insults aimed at the Irishman.
From insisting he will make McGregor ‘bleed and bow before’ him, to promising to ‘kick McNuggest’s ass’, it is clear where Ferguson’s mind lies.
Now, following an energetic Twitter Q&A session between the American and the general public, Ferguson has managed to rope a certain Paulie Malignaggi into his mud-slinging narrative.
Malignaggi has been more than willing to insult and slam McGregor ever since his now infamous sparring sessions with the Irishman back in August.
Ever present online to add another scathing 140 characters, Malignaggi was more than obliging when Ferguson latched onto the retired boxer’s latest addition.
Referring to the video of the sparring session that saw Malignaggi end up on his backside at the hands of McGregor, the boxer boasts about his trash-talking while handing out ‘ass-whoppings’.
Ferguson then latches on to the comment and asserts that the boxer would be more than happy for him to provide McGregor with such a beating in the octagon.
Malignaggi agrees and almost inevitably makes yet another reference to McGregor having balls.
With the lightweight unification fight now all but assured for sometime in the not too distant future, Ferguson will get the fight he is demanding while McGregor will defend the title as he has promised.
For fans, expectation is growing at an exponential rate. Talks about a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz are quickly disappearing in the rear view mirror while billboards adorned with the images of McGregor and Ferguson are almost printing themselves.
All that is needed now is a date.