It would only be natural if, after his ninth straight Octagon triumph, lightweight contender Tony Ferguson turned his attention to next Saturday’s UFC 205 headliner.
Ferguson, however, would rather not concern himself with the fates of Eddie Alvarez and Conor McGregor — even after earning a signature five-round win over former 155-pound king Rafael dos Anjos in the UFC Fight Night 98 main event in Mexico City.
“I hope they knock each other out. Plain and simple,” Ferguson said on Fox Sports 1. “I really don’t care. I’ve got other things to worry about than watching that fight.”
“El Cucuy” seemingly vaulted himself to the top of the list of contenders by going five rounds for the first time in his career to vanquish dos Anjos, who only relinquished to lightweight crown to Alvarez in July. Ferguson kept his Brazilian foe on his heels for much of the contest, as he landed multi-punch combinations, spinning backfists, standing elbows and leg kicks. And when dos Anjos landed with authority, Ferguson simply shook it off and kept moving.
“I could have gone five more rounds. I just wanted to see him quit,” Ferguson said. “I wanted to see that face, and I just kept kicking him and I saw that face. And I just kept pushing forward. It wasn’t about finishing him this time. It was about proving to myself, not anyone else, that I could go five rounds.
Ferguson was far from unhittable, and his chin undoubtedly carried him on several occasions when dos Anjos landed blows that might’ve felled a less durable fighter.
“You can take this dude’s hardest shots and you keep eating them, what else is he gonna throw at you?” Ferguson said.
Ferguson’s innovative offensive approach might seem risky at times, but “The Ultimate Fighter 13” winner claims that it’s all part of the plan.
“That’s how I fight. It’s not about risk taking, it’s about creating opportunities,” he said. “Opportunities exist when you create them.”
In addition to dos Anjos, Ferguson’s current streak includes triumphs over the likes of Edson Barboza, Josh Thomson, Danny Castillo and Gleison Tibau. Against dos Anjos, Ferguson claims that part of his secret to success was simply enjoying the moment. Perhaps that’s why he’s not fretting over a potential title shot.
“I just really focused, stayed loose, stayed calm,” Ferguson said. “You can take the sport too seriously, and I was having fun smiling and salsa dancing in there.”