Former interim UFC lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson has confirmed that he would welcome the opportunity to compete against former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor before the close of his career – but questioned the legality of a potential matchup between the duo.
Tony Ferguson, a former interim lightweight titleholder, featured most recently at UFC 274 earlier this month, slipping to his fourth straight loss, courtesy of a devastating second round front kick knockout defeat against Michael Chandler.
For McGregor, the Dubliner is also within a victory in his last two straight Octagon appearances, most recently suffering a first round doctor’s stoppage TKO loss against former interim gold holder, Dustin Poirier, fracturing his left tibia in the first frame of their UFC 264 rubber match last July.
Prior to Ferguson’s UFC 274 clash with Chandler, however, the former cited the ‘Miller-Ayala Athlete Agents Act’, hinting that a potential fight against former duel-weight best, McGregor, was legally unobtainable – alluding to the fact McGregor held ownership of some form in Paradigm Sports Management. Ferguson and McGregor were previously represented by the management agency at the time time.
Speaking on The MMA Hour regarding a future fight with McGregor before the culmination of his career, Tony Ferguson expressed his interest in fighting the 33-year-old in the future, but questioned the legality of such a fight.
“I don’t even know if he’s (Conor McGregor) allowed to fight me,” Tony Ferguson said. “Obviously, he was part of – because he was part owner of Paradigm. And through the ‘Miller-Ayala Act’, if you’re an acting owner of an agency, you’re not allowed to compete in the same company – or in the same sport as the athlete.”
“So there’s a reason why I guarantee that they didn’t want to compete – or couldn’t compete (against me), and even Dana White said, ‘Those guys (Paradigm) f*cked you over,’ when it was in my meeting to go back and kinda like, make sure I was okay to fight, and in my contracts leading up to that, he (Dana White) said that, I remember him saying that, and I was like, ‘You knew, but you still let it happen’. It was an interesting fact, and like I said, I would love to compete against Conor (McGregor). …”
Tony Ferguson and Conor McGregor have been continually linked with an Octagon clash
Ferguson and McGregor were seemingly on a collision course to compete in a lightweight title unification bout back in back in 2017 and 2018, however, McGregor would go on to find himself stripped of the lightweight crown after a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather and an extended period of inactivity.