‘You got Dana White privilege’: MMA legend Ferguson hits out at Chandler and Khabib in bizarre UFC 262 press conference (VIDEO)
Lightweight contender Tony Ferguson had fans in stitches with a bizarre press conference ahead of his comeback at UFC 262 this weekend, including attacks on a range of stars including retired ex-champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Ferguson had the mic to talk up his fight against Beneil Dariush in Houston on Saturday.
With the 37-year-old riding a two-loss streak, the meeting is considered make-or-break and defeat could see him further than ever from the belt at 155lb.
Trying to get into his opponent's head, Ferguson warned: "You think you f*cking know me, you want to do spinning sh*t, you think I'm unorthodox... kid, I am going to hit you so f*cking hard. That's it."
Unfazed, Dariush responded: "I love it, Tony. I love it. I want to see every bit of it and I hope you show up like you say you will. I'll be there for everything.'"
But Ferguson's best barbs, cheered heavily by those in attendance, were saved for other potential rivals in the division past and present.
In the main event, relative newcomer Michael Chandler – who built a career with Bellator MMA but has just one fight in the UFC – will face Charles Oliveira for the championship strap that Nurmagomedov relinquished through his retirement last year. Ferguson isn't impressed in the slightest.
"You f*cking dodged me too, Chandler – you’re a b*tch," Ferguson butted in and shouted at him, with Chandler replying: "That’s not true."
"Every person out here except this guy [Oliveira], that’s sitting next to me [has dodged me],” Ferguson said of the Brazilian, who beat him by unanimous decision in the last outing for either fighter at UFC 256 in December last year.
"I’m going to be real. The other side? That’s the losers. You wanna come over here, this is the victory side of the table," the Oxnard, California native added.
"You could’ve fought me on January 23 and I would have done the same thing to you as I did to Dan Hooker," claimed Chandler, firing back.
"You f*cking said no, man," Ferguson quipped.
"I’m going to be real. You got this sh*t handed to you. You got Dana White privilege."
Standing between the seated fighters behind a desk, president White burst into laughter at the remarks, and Chandler was amused enough to thank him.
Next up was Russian legend Khabib, who Ferguson had been due to face in no fewer than five failed fights to settle the debate on the greatest lightweight of the modern era.
The frustration of seeing everything from injuries to the pandemic scuppering those bouts is a particular source of anger for Ferguson, who many feel should have been champion by now.
"He’s a f*cking b*tch," Ferguson answered, when asked if the new king of the division would have to live up to Nurmagomedov's legacy.
"He’s a p*ssy – sorry to interrupt you," Ferguson went on.
"I’m going to dedicate this song [to him] called ‘Mask Off’. ‘Chase a cheque, never chase a b*tch’. That’s Khabib."
Ferguson said later: "Dana was right – he said timing is everything.
"It wasn’t meant for me to have the title. I would have gave everybody a chance, right? I’m f*cking awesome."
"These guys are going to try to keep the title away from me as much as they can. I’m Mexican. It doesn’t matter if you’re color up here or not but I’m made with American parts, too, so let’s f*cking go."
Alright just for fun, who do you think has more Dana White privilege?— Gerald Meerschaert (@The_Real_GM3) May 14, 2021
Punters and brawlers across the MMA community were thrilled by Ferguson's display, with flyweight Tim Elliott dubbing him "now my favorite fighter".
Elsewhere, middleweight Gerald Meerschaert ran a poll for who has "more Dana White privilege" between Chandler and Conor McGregor.
Khabib when he is asked to fight El Cucuy pic.twitter.com/uELK8ZQAY3— Motivated Tony (@MotivatedTony) May 14, 2021
Khabib lives rent free in Tony’s head 😭😭— Raven (@whoisthato) May 13, 2021
Lol it’s just sad at this point. Khabib is the 🐐 bud. Deal with it— kb81244 (@kb81244) May 14, 2021
"El Cucuy is definitely back," hailed a fan, as another called it "the best press conference of recent years, for sure".
But those in Khabib's camp claimed that the 29-0 greatest fighter of all time candidate lives in Ferguson's head "rent free" and dubbed his obsession with a fight against him "sad at this point".
"Tony Ferguson is so broken mentally," said one. "He can't get past Khabib inside his head. I bet he loses sleep thinking how he'll never get to fight Khabib ever again.
"He's an overachiever. Tony Ferguson was never a high level competitor. His win streak that he had consisted of cans."Also on rt.com ‘Savagery’: Khabib issues ice-cold putdown of Tony Ferguson in hilarious Twitter exchange