UFC 249: Tony Ferguson says ‘f*** you’ to reporter over mental health question
Tony Ferguson looked like he wanted to fight a journalist as well as Khabib Nurmagomedov yesterday.
The two fighters fronted the press to build some hype ahead of their showdown at UFC 249 in April but Ferguson didn’t just have eyes for his Dagestani opponent.
A reporter respectfully tried to question the 36-year-old about his mental health issues but Ferguson was in no mood to play ball.
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“You seem to be in really great spirits,” Rodney James of Cageside Press said into the microphone. “I commend you for going head first into some mental health issues and working through that.
“It takes a lot of courage to do that as a professional athlete, especially when a lot of people look up to you.”
Before James even got to his question, Ferguson snapped and cut him off.
“F*** you,” the fighter said before dropping his microphone back on the table.
James responded, saying: “I was giving you props, I was just wondering …”
Again Ferguson jumped in to make his feelings known.
“F*** the advice. Next question,” he said.
James explained he wasn’t trying to offer the American any advice, but it was clear he wasn’t going to dig himself out of this hole.
Nurmagomedov will put his lightweight belt on the line when he and Ferguson finally square off on April 19 in Brooklyn. The pair have been scheduled to fight several times previously, but the bouts have always fallen through.
UFC fans will be helping this time it’s the real deal.
“He is a very good fighter but why people don’t like him is because he’s stupid,” Nurmagomedov said as the trash talk kicked off at their press conference.
“Nobody understands him, honestly, he looks stupid, that’s why nobody likes him. But he’s a very good fighter and I respect his skill, that’s why he’s here.
“Whoever wins this fight, this guy is going to be the greatest lightweight ever.
“Only one thing makes me sad, this guy (Ferguson) become a little bit old. He’s 36-years-old, when I beat him, people are going to talk about, ‘Oh, he’s old now.’”
Ferguson had a warning of his own to deliver, telling Nurmagomedov: “I’m going to hit you so hard in your stomach, you’re going to p*** f***ing blood.”
Nurmagomedov enters the fight with a perfect 28-0 professional MMA record that includes being 12-0 in the Octagon.
The reigning lightweight champ famously submitted Conor McGregor in 2018 and backed that up by beating Dustin Poirier in this latest fight last September
Ferguson will look to steal the belt away from Nurmagomedov and enters the Octagon riding a 12-fight win streak, his most recent success coming over Donald Cerrone in June.
Originally published as ‘F*** you’: UFC star shuts down reporter