Tony Ferguson prides himself on being highly adaptable, but nothing could prepare him for the twists and turns he’s experienced over the past few weeks.
The latest change was the most dramatic when Ferguson learned on Thursday that the entire UFC 249 event has been postponed indefinitely. But the former interim champ, who was scheduled to fight Justin Gaethje for the interim UFC lightweight title, took the news in stride.
“You know what? I’m sure it’s for a good reason,” Ferguson said after learning the news in the middle of an interview with Brian Martin of the OC Register. “Let’s be real. I gotta keep the faith,” Ferguson said. “I gotta keep this … f*ck… keep this small circle close, bro, and just keep focusing on what we can control, which is our heart rate and our breathing.”
Ferguson originally signed on to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 249 on April 18. It was the fifth time the lightweight fight had been scheduled, and it was one of the most highly anticipated showdowns in UFC history.
Then, Ferguson found out that the reigning lightweight champion was unable to make the fight, reportedly grounded in his native Dagestan by travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The UFC was able to secure a replacement opponent, however, and Ferguson was back in business before news of the event’s indefinite postponement.
Despite his fight being cancelled, Ferguson planned to continue training on Thursday, and he had no intention of slowing down any time soon.
“Dude, I’m just gonna keep collecting trophies and doing my same sh*t,” Ferguson said. “Every single time I wake up in the morning, when I do my work, say my prayers and I do (stuff), I hug my little boy … whew … kiss my wife. I just … keep doing what I’m doing. What am I gonna do?”
As of now, there’s no word when the promotion will begin putting on events again, though UFC president Dana White has promised it will be sooner rather than later if he has anything to say about it.
Until he gets the call that his fight has been rescheduled, Ferguson seems resigned to stay ready for whatever gets thrown at him next.
“The constant is things are always gonna change,” Ferguson said. “The variable is how am I gonna react to it? So we could throw that variable, baby, and we make that the constant. Which is why I’m gonna keep smiling, I’m gonna keep training, and you know what? I’m gonna put on some muscle. Dude, I’m skinny. I’m gonna put on some muscle.
“I’m gonna try my best. I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna try my best. If I fall, I’ll get back up.”