Tony Ferguson has criticised Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star Conor McGregor for cherry picking his fights and claimed that the current lightweight champion is only a "paper champ".
The 28-year-old created history when he became the first fighter in the UFC history to hold two titles at the same time, which he achieved after defeating Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight title.
McGregor announced he will be taking a break after his win in New York, leaving Ferguson with no chance to fight him anytime soon. The Dublin-born star lost to Nate Diaz at UFC 196, but managed to get his revenge when he defeated Diaz at UFC 202 in August 2016.
This was followed by a victory over Alvarez at UFC 205, which was held at Madison Square Garden in November. Despite the win, Ferguson has claimed that he cannot see the Notorious as the champion and is confident that he would enter the UFC Hall of Fame in future.
"This guy's [McGregor is] picking his opponents. He's a paper champ. When you're doing that, of course you're going to be watching who you're fighting...I can't really see Conor as the champion. I see right now as if the title was open," Ferguson explained, as quoted by MMA Fighting.
"Conor's taking a step off and I don't even like to throw his name in because the dude fought one person at 155. I've been sitting here and Khabib, he's been kind of inactive. I've been the most active in this damn place... I'm racking up points here, that's all that matters. I'm gonna go down in the books as a living legend. That's what's gonna happen, I'm gonna be in the UFC Hall of Fame," he added.
Ferguson also claimed that he is ready to sign a "dotted line" to take on UFC lightweight fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov.
"It's what the fans want. The fans want the fight. People are blowing it up. They know Conor's out. They know Khabib needs a fight," he noted.
"They know that Khabib and I were supposed to fight in January but that dude backed out. He had some boo boos he had to take care of. That's okay, go back to AKA and heal your boo boos with Daniel Cormier...
"I'm ready to sign on the dotted line and I think the UFC knows that. And I think it needs to be for that belt. I don't think, it needs to be for that belt, damn it. Straight up, I've been putting in my time, I've been putting in my numbers. This is my time. Let's get some heat going for this thing. Let's do this for The Ultimate Fighter. We can do Team Khabib versus Team Ferguson, that'd be dope," he said.