Tony Ferguson shuts down reporter's mental health question with profane response

One reporter found out the hard way that Tony Ferguson means what he says when it comes to questions about mental health.

On Friday during the UFC 249 press conference in Las Vegas, Cageside Press reporter Rodney James attempted to ask Ferguson about his past issues with mental health. James tried to set up his question in a respectful, but before he could even ask it, Ferguson shut it down.

“You seem to be in really great spirits,” James said on the microphone. “I commend you for going head first into some mental health issues and working through that, especially a lot of people look up to you.”

That’s when the former UFC interim champion intervened.

“(Expletive) you,” he said, to cheers from fans.

“I was giving you props,” James responded. “I was just wondering …”

“(Expletive) the advice, next question,” Ferguson interrupted.

“I wasn’t giving you advice, sir. Sorry.”

James then moved on to an unrelated question for UFC president Dana White. He later tweeted at Ferguson trying to smooth things over.

Ferguson’s battles with mental health first came to light in March 2019 after his wife filed a statement in support of a restraining order that indicated her husband was in the midst of a mental health crisis following multiple police visits to their Southern California home. Ferguson was never charged with a crime, though his family repeatedly expressed concern for his well being.

The UFC required doctors to examine him before clearing him to return to the octagon, which happened last June at UFC 238 where he defeated Donald Cerrone by doctor stoppage TKO. Prior to the fight, MMA Junkie asked Ferguson about people trying to send him well wishes in the wake of the news, and he made it clear wasn’t appreciative.

“I tell them to (expletive) off,” Ferguson said. “Stop worrying about (expletive) you can’t handle, man. It’s not your (expletive) problem. You really want to (expletive) worry about how I am? Buy my (expletive) pay-per-view. Send me some money, send me whatever, I don’t give a (expletive). But quit asking dumbass questions. You want to keep asking me those questions, I’m going to say (expletive) you. Straight up.”

That’s exactly how things played out Friday.

Ferguson, who’s on a 12-fight winning streak, is set to return April 18 at UFC 249 where he’ll challenge undefeated champion Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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