The UFC 262 pre-fight press conference featured UFC president Dana White, headlining fighters Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler, and co-headlining fighters Tony Ferguson and Beneil Dariush fielding questions from the media.
Following the conclusion of the press conference, the MMA community was set abuzz with discussions regarding Tony Ferguson, the statements he made, and him stealing the show at the press conference.
Tony Ferguson and Beneil Dariush have been quite respectful towards one another in the buildup to their UFC 262 fight. However, tensions escalated between them at the press conference when 'El Cucuy' criticized Dariush for helping Ferguson’s rival Justin Gaethje train for his UFC interim lightweight title fight at UFC 249.
In the verbal back and forth that was set off by Tony Ferguson’s statements, 'El Cucuy' appeared to take the lead in the conversation. Ferguson warned that he plans on knocking Dariush out.
Although Beneil Dariush did try to get his points across, it was Tony Ferguson who appeared to be getting the better of Dariush in the war of words. Ferguson stated:
“I have nothing against you, but seriously, my punches are gonna f**king starch your a**. I’m gonna knock you out. I’m gonna knock you out, kid. I don’t care who; how many f**king Ultimate Fighter f**king people you have over there at UFC, what’s that, King’s MMA? Look at King’s MMA. You have how many UFC fighters training with you? It was the same thing on The Ultimate Fighter when they all went against me. You know what the f**k happened with that one.”
“Basically, it says you can’t bring anybody inside that octagon with you, kid. You think you f**king know me. You wanna do spinning sh** and everything else like that. You think I’m unorthodox? Kid, I’m gonna hit you so f**king hard. That’s it.”
“I’m gonna f**king slam you. I’m gonna slam you. I’m gonna slam you. I’m gonna slam you. I’m gonna slam you,” Tony Ferguson repeatedly said.
“I’m gonna slam you like I did my student. I broke his f**king rib.”
In response to Tony Ferguson’s aforesaid student comment, Beneil Dariush fired back by saying – “Well, that’s a di** move, bud. Why would you do that to your own student?”
Tony Ferguson replied by stating – “Because he made me do it.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
The entire exchange, particularly the part regarding Tony Ferguson boasting about breaking his own student’s rib, left Beneil Dariush visibly befuddled.
Tony Ferguson and Beneil Dariush face off in a highly anticipated lightweight matchup at UFC 262
Both Tony Ferguson and Beneil Dariush are heralded amongst the best grapplers in the UFC lightweight division today. Ferguson is considered by many to be the more well-rounded fighter between the two, particularly owing to his elite striking skills that complement his grappling prowess.
Meanwhile, Beneil Dariush is a reputable BJJ world champion. Dariush has also showcased improvements in his striking skills over the past few years. Needless to say, the lightweight bout between Tony Ferguson and Beneil Dariush at UFC 262 is a highly intriguing and anticipated stylistic clash.
The winner of this fight is likely to enter the UFC lightweight title picture, quite possibly earning a title shot right away or perhaps with another win.
What are your views on the statements made by Tony Ferguson and Beneil Dariush? Sound off in the comments.