Justin Gaethje Reports UFC Never Contacted Him About Moving Tony Ferguson Fight to May 9th
By FCF Staff
Justin Gaethje ultimately agreed to fighting Tony Ferguson at UFC 249, May 9th. But, the lightweight contender wasn’t happy about the fact, the UFC never contacted him about moving the bout to that date, before announcing it.
Gaethje agreed to step-up on short notice and fight Ferguson on April 18th, after Khabib Nurmagomedov was stranded in Russia due to a coronavirus travel ban. The April 18th card eventually fell through, however, as a result of the pandemic.
Not long after, the UFC announced that Gaethje was going to face Ferguson on May 9th, at a location yet to be announced. But, while talking to ESPN recently, the former WSOF champ reported this (quotes via MMA Fighting).
“Same way I found out it was off: on the internet,” Gaethje said when asked how he was informed about the May 9th card. “I saw that Dana had said that he was having this card May 9th and that I was the main event and I was like, ‘What the hell?!’ To be honest, I was a little bit upset because I’ve always told them I don’t want to fight on short training camps and I don’t blame them, but they had the assumption that because I was going to fight on April 18th I would do it on May 9th, but those are totally different circumstances for me. So I really wasn’t happy about it, but you go back to the drawing board and risk versus reward, for a world title you can fight on a day’s notice.”
And while discussing how the cancelation and re-booking impacted his training, Gaethje said this.
“Emotionally, as a fighter, it’s very hard to cope with because it’s hard to turn it on and it’s hard to turn it off. So I was really caught in a weird predicament. I’m glad it was only three or four days after they canceled it where the re-announced it. . . It was tough. I kind of definitely let my foot off the gas for three days but ultimately it helped me because when I got the call, I went fourteen days straight. I didn’t take a day off, so I was really feeling beat down. So those three days really helped me. Ultimately, I’m not gonna get my training camp but I’m gonna get more time so I’ve got to be thankful for that.”
The UFC has yet to announce the official location for UFC 249, but recently it was reported the event will take place in Florida.