Tony Ferguson reckons Conor McGregor is leaving the UFC

He was speaking ahead of his fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov

Tony Ferguson reckons Conor McGregor is leaving the UFC

Tony Ferguson. Picture by John Locher AP/Press Association Images

Tony Ferguson insists that UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor is on his way out of the sport and is using Floyd Mayweather as an excuse.

Speaking to Fox Sports about the Irishman's instant title shot at 155 lbs, he said: "It's a marathon, not a sprint. And the difference is a lot of people that float up to the top really quick, they just keep floating and they go away. That's what I see Conor doing, he's on his way out.

"He's using Mayweather as an excuse to come out of the woodwork but this is a real man's sport and if he wants to go into boxing and get his ass kicked over there then that's up to him," he added.

Looking ahead to his interim lightweight title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov in the co-main at UFC 209 in March, he said: "You have to respect him. He has a 24 win streak but it's a padded record. I see it all the time. As far as his conditioning goes, he's got two rounds in him. 

"I've been going four rounds, five rounds. Mexico City we were supposed to fight at elevation - I was ready to go another 10. I was ready to go," he added.

Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been scheduled to fight twice before but both fights were nixed due to injuries. The winner will go forward and become the number one contender to McGregor's lightweight title.