Tony Ferguson Lashes Out After His Interim Title was Stripped and Paycheck Reduced (VIDEO)

Tony Ferguson was not in the mood to talk to the media on Tuesday in one of his first interviews after returning from knee surgery just five months ago

Tony Ferguson has every reason to be angry.

Following a knee injury suffered while doing a media tour to support his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov in April, the UFC stripped Ferguson of his interim title and then pushed him back in the contender’s race when he was ready to return.

Ferguson missed out on a chance to win the undisputed lightweight title and then had the interim belt he won just six months earlier stripped from him due to an injury he suffered while doing interviews on behalf of the UFC.

Add to that, Ferguson saw a reduction in his paycheck as he made his return for UFC 229 because he was no longer holding onto the interim lightweight championship.

Ferguson make a miraculous turn around in just five months after surgery but he’s understandably upset after losing so much through nothing more than a freak injury.

“It’s been five months since my injury. Took a long f–king time for me to be here. They took my belt, they took a bunch of zeroes from my paycheck. How do you think I f–king feel? It’s all fun and games, right?” Ferguson said when speaking to media in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

“I’m the f–king champ. See this gold right here? I didn’t lose my belt. They took it from me. The one thing they didn’t take was my smile.”

Ferguson says after his injury, he staved off talking to virtually anybody that wasn’t part of his inner circle as he went through rehabilitation to get healthy enough to fight again.

The former champion admits he’s carrying a rather large chip on his shoulder going into Saturday night where he hopes to beat Anthony Pettis and reclaim his spot as the best lightweight in the world.

“After my surgery I made a conscious decision to not want anybody else’s help that wouldn’t want to help me,” Ferguson said. “Yeah, I’ve got a little bit of a chip on my shoulder. It’s still there. F–king weighs a lot.

“But during this entire process, I gained so much more than you guys will ever imagine. So you guys can keep watching my social media films, you guys can keep thinking whatever the f–k you want, but ultimately the return, my family was there for me, my team was there for me, the people that really mattered. My doctors were there for me, that believed in me, that gave me the opportunities, that gave me the knowledge and the intuition to believe I can do what I can do, to be back in time, faster than what they told me.”

Check out the rest of Ferguson’s interview including his unique prediction on how the main event at UFC 229 between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor will play out.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.