Tony Ferguson insists he should be the “real” lightweight champion if he beats Justin Gaethje at UFC 249. The pair will clash in the main event behind closed doors at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Florida.
Ferguson was originally scheduled to face Khabib Nurmagomedov before the bout was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Nurmagomedov is the UFC’s undisputed lightweight champion, with the winner of tonight’s showpiece earning a shot at the Russian.
Ferguson, though, believes there is nothing interim about the belt he intends to win
“F**k Khabib,” Ferguson said ahead of his UFC clash against Gaethje.
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“I’m defending my belt for the third time. This is for the real belt.
“This is not for an interim title, this is for the real championship.”
How much is Tony Ferguson worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Ferguson’s wealth is valued at £1.6million ($2m).
The 36-year-old took home a purse of £121,215 for his TKO victory over Donald Cerrone at UFC 238.
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At UFC 229, he beat Pettis in the second round to earn £121,215.
Ferguson earned his highest career payday at UFC 216 for his 2017 win over Kevin Lee at UFC 216.
His income is also boosted through UFC bonus payments and his sponsorship deals with the likes of Reebok, RDX Sports and Monster.
UFC 249, meanwhile, has had its critics for going ahead amid the ongoing pandemic but Ferguson hopes it can fill the sporting void.
“Right now, there’s no Olympics, there’s no Wimbledon, there’s no NBA Draft, there’s no NFL Draft, there’s no tennis, there’s no soccer, hockey, there’s no baseball,” he said.
“This is what we bring to the table. We’re going to do our best and we’re going to keep sports alive and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Ferguson also had warm words for his opponent ahead of their showdown
“Honestly I have nothing against the kid, he’s awesome,” Ferguson added.
“They call him the Human Highlight for a reason.”
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