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Ferguson vents frustration over McGregor uncertainty: 'I'm the f**king champ!'

Dana White was unable to clarify the situation in the lightweight division at a press conference on Friday.

UFC Fight Night - Arena Ciudad de Mexico Tony Ferguson en route to his November 2016 win over former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

TONY FERGUSON ADMITS that the current uncertainty regarding the title picture in the UFC’s lightweight division has left him frustrated.

Ferguson (23-3), the interim lightweight champion, is due to return to action in April for a headline bout against undefeated contender Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223.

Yet confusion reigns in the 155-pound division following a press conference in Boston last Friday, during which UFC president Dana White said that the winner of the aforementioned bout will become the undisputed lightweight champion.

However, White simultaneously refused to be drawn on whether or not Conor McGregor — the reigning lightweight champion — will be stripped of his title due to inactivity prior to the meeting of Ferguson and Nurmagomedov in Brooklyn.

“We’ll see what happens,” was the UFC president’s response when quizzed about the current status of McGregor, who hasn’t competed in mixed martial arts since winning the lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez 14 months ago.

Speaking about the situation on The MMA Hour, an irritated Ferguson said: “It bothers the shit out of me. Straight up. I’m the fucking champ and we don’t know if we’re fighting for the real belt or not. What the fuck is that?

“Dana White is telling us one thing on one [side] of the curtain, and on the other side he’s saying: ‘No, Conor McGregor is the champion. Go and do your homework’. I love Dana, man, but I’m like: ‘What the fuck, dude? Am I not the champ or am I the champ? Do you want to hype me up or do you not want to hype me up for this fight?’”

MMA 2016 - UFC 205 - New York For now at least, Conor McGregor remains the UFC lightweight champion. Source: Jason Silva

Ferguson, whose interim title victory over Kevin Lee last October was his 10th consecutive victory, explained that even his behind-the-scenes requests for clarity from UFC officials were unsuccessful.

“It was almost like they were kind of embarrassed to ask or to be questioned,” said the 33-year-old Californian. “They didn’t know what the fuck was going on. It was kind of like: ‘Well, shit — what’s going on?’

“I understand that there’s business, and there’s probably big business to have to do with McGregor, but that has nothing to do with myself or my family. He does not make our world go around, that’s what I’m trying to say.”

Regarding his forthcoming clash with Nurmagomedov, Ferguson added: “To me, this is the real fight. This is for the real belt. I’m the current champ. I might not always be given the respect that I should have, but it’s what fuels me. I can’t be ignored forever.”

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Paul Dollery

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