Tony Ferguson: ‘Rafael Dos Anjos Doesn’t Want To Fight Me’

Tony Ferguson (18-3) has taken big strides to become the fighter he has become after appearing on the Ultimate Fighter. Ferguson is currently on a five-fight winning streak. In his last five bouts, he’s finished four of them by either knockout or submission.

According to him, the reason for the change in direction for his career is because he has learned to loosen up when he’s fighting. Apparently (like many fighters) he had to be hit before he can get into fight mode. Now, he doesn’t like getting hit and can be ready to fight anytime even without before getting hit.

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“It used to take me a second to get hit, and then you’d see a different Tony Ferguson in a fight,” Ferguson told MMA Junkie.com. “No longer. I don’t have anyone smacking me in the face (to get me motivated). I don’t need that. My coaches tell me, ‘Smile, Tony.’ The more loose you are, the better you are – and that jab just hits them in the face harder.”

If he wins on Wednesday night against Josh Thomson then he believes that he could be thrown into the mix of challengers for Rafael Dos Anjos’ lightweight title.

“The champ’s seen me fight. He’s seen me move. He doesn’t want to fight me right now,” Ferguson said. “Right now, he’s cool – he earned his title; he did kick Anthony Pettis’ butt. But right now, my opponent is Josh Thomson. That’s who I’m prepared for. And Thomson is scared. I’m a little nervous, myself, which is good, because you don’t want to go in there overconfident. You can; it’s fine. But when I go in there with little butterflies in my stomach, I turn that into energy – a good energy.”

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Even with a win, Ferguson would have to wait and see who won between Dos Anjos and Donald Cerrone later this year when they battle for the lightweight title.

UFC Fight Night 71 takes place Wednesday, July 15, 2015, at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California.