Tony Ferguson Willing to Move Up To Welterweight And Face Nick Diaz

Tony Ferguson Posing

  • Tony Ferguson says he is willing to move up in weight class just to get a fight.
  • Ferguson called out Nick Diaz who has plans of returning in early 2021.
  • El Cucuy has not fought since getting knocked out by Justin Gaethje at UFC 249.

Tony Ferguson wants to fight so badly that he’s willing to move up to welterweight just to get back in the mix.

El Cucuy last fought at UFC 249 where he saw his 12-fight winning streak end at the hands of Justin Gaethje. The loss forced him off the next lightweight title fight and has left him without a dance partner.

Ferguson saw a potential no. 1 contender fight with Dustin Poirier fizzle out after the UFC and Poirier failed to arrive at a deal. El Cucuy also claimed that the UFC offered him newcomer Michael Chandler instead but he turned the fight down because he felt like a “gatekeeper” being asked to welcome the former Bellator champ. As a result, the UFC removed him as the back-up fighter at UFC 254 in case either Khabib or Gaethje doesn’t make it to fight night.

Now frustrated, Ferguson says he’s willing to move up in weight if he can’t get booked to a good fight at lightweight. Said the Former TUF winner via ESPN:

I like to fight, if I don’t, I gotta bump up to 170. I hear Nick Diaz is looking for competition. Battle for California, no disrespect. I’m a 170-pounder … UFC told me, ‘well you’re kinda small’ well I have a big frame. All I was eating is like once a day because I was barely making ends meet. I got the frame for like a 205 pounder.”/span>

Nick Diaz?

The elusive Diaz has been teasing about a return several times in the last couple of years. The 37-year old Stockton slugger has not competed since losing to Anderson Silva in 2015. That bout was overturned to a no-contest after both fighters failed a drug test. Diaz was meted an 18-month suspension for that violation and has not been heard of since then.

Last month, Diaz’s manager announced that his fighter is targeting a return in early 2021. Diaz recently completed a 14-week test weight cut and is planning on fighting at the welterweight division when he returns.

A Ferguson vs Diaz scrap would be a barnburner we all want to see. However, as always, the question with Nick Diaz is when he will return and if he will return at all. With Ferguson in a hurry to return to action, he may not have enough time to wait on Nick Diaz. But then who knows what the former Strikeforce and WEC welterweight king has in mind, especially with Ferguson dropping the Battle for California theme.

Hasn’t Fought at Welterweight Since 2011

Ferguson meanwhile, has not fought at welterweight since his TUF days. His last bout as a welterweight came during the TUF 13 Finale in June 2011 when he destroyed fellow finalist Ramsey Nijem in the Finals. El Cucuy tipped the scales at 169 pounds for that fight.

Since winning TUF 13, Ferguson has fought exclusively at lightweight and we’ve seen his best body of work at that weight class. He was literally unstoppable from 2013 to 2019 and was the betting favorite when he lost to Gaethje at UFC 249. Ferguson does have a big frame for a lightweight and is six feet tall. However, it remains to be seen if his style of fighting will work with bigger foes.

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