Dana White reveals Conor McGregor text message after Tony Ferguson refused to fight
"I need to see active. I need to see activity. I need to see consistency. I need to see me. If you want me to come and change your life, if you want me to come pick you, you better have some damn reasons for me to do that." - Conor McGregor, November 2016
Tony Ferguson says he is hungry. He proclaims he is ready. He believes he is the real deal.
To Conor McGregor, Ferguson is all talk.
The UFC lightweight champion claimed his title the week after Ferguson defeated former champ Rafael Dos Anjos in Mexico City. Neither man has fought since.
McGregor took some time out to recharge the batteries, pursue a multi-million euro fight with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. and to feather the nest for his newborn son, Conor McGregor Jr. Ferguson was supposed to headline UFC 209 but Khabib Nurmagomedov's botched weight cut saw that interim title bout scratched.
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) March 7, 2017
'El Cucuy' is now angling for an interim title fight against Nate Diaz, Al Iaquinta... anybody, but McGregor seems far from impressed.
UFC president Dana White revealed he received a text message from McGregor in the lead-up to UFC 209. Ferguson had been offered a catch-weight fight against No.6 ranked lightweight Michael Johnson but refused as it was not for a title and for a lower purse. During an appearance on GGN News, White commented:
"You know this s**t that went on with Tony Ferguson and Khabib, right?
"Conor text me and said, 'I can't believe you're going to f**king pay that bum Tony Ferguson one dollar. You shouldn't pay that guy one f**king dime.'
"He goes, 'He was there, made weight and you lined up a fight for him - after Khabib fell out - you lined up a fight with Michael Johnson and he turned it down. F**king bum. You shouldn't pay him a dime'."
We suspect White was paraphrasing somewhat [above] but the sentiment sounds very much like McGregor - take the fight or shut your mouth.
It is hard not to feel for Ferguson here, though. He was in line for a title shot, had it whipped away at the last minute and was offered a non-title fight for less money.
One wonders what McGregor would have made of such a proposal at the time.