It’s been an emotional week in Las Vegas and not a single person has been able to isolate themselves from the tragic incident that took on Sunday evening.
UFC 216 main event stars Kevin Lee and Tony Ferguson have been at each other’s’ throats for the past few months, but speaking at the UFC 216 media day yesterday, both fighters stood united in their sorrow at the atrocious act of terrorism that was committed on Sunday night.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com, Lee described the emotions he went through when he heard the news and why he was going to fight for the entertainment of the people on Saturday night.
“I as in LA when it went down and I got the call in the morning,” Lee said. “I called everybody that I knew and everybody was ok, I made that my first priority. It was hard for me to do the media that day and still hard now to even talk about fighting because in life, there’s a lot more things that are important. Me and Tony, we may have a lot of back and forth and a lot of disrespect, but he isn’t going to be happy with this result on Saturday, but I wish him noting but the best I hope he can go home and gets to kiss his girl and see his family and he lives a long and healthy life.
“ In the end, that’s what this is all about.
“This fight will be a celebration for the city.”
“It will be a celebration of life because that’s when I feel most alive in that that moment. The past don’t matter, the future don’t matter. We are just going to be living in the moment. I hope that resonates with the people in the audience and the people watching back home because if I can put my body on the line to give them a bit of entertainment and to take their mind of other s***, then there you go.”
Helwani also spoke to Ferguson (HERE) who revealed that his family had a bit of a close call attending the event where the killings took place. He also added that the atrocity would be weigh heavily on his shoulders come fight night.
“Yeah it sucks man,” Ferguson said, composing himself before continuing. “My family just got done with church, my wide her parents and my son, they love music so when they were done with church they were going to head over to the fair and I was just getting done with recovery at Complete Wellness here in Las Vegas. I was on my way to the store get food because that’s what we do, get food for the cooler. My wife rang me and said don’t come back. My brother [then] calls me up saying he’s hard all of this stuff and they had [killed] multiple people and it was like this crazy plethora of stuff and things, and I’m just so surprised they’re still allowing this fight.
“That just kind of just says somethings, because when you lose, they only just say you’re as good as your last fight instead of saying I’m bringing all that with me. I’m bringing all the people that were injured and harmed and not here anymore, that went through the bulls*** and had that sense of security. That’s bulls*** man.”
The UFC indicated on Monday that UFC 216 would still be going ahead and that the UFC would be donating $1 million to the families affected. Ferguson was open about saying the incident had hit hard, but he added that when the Octagon door closes he will still be the same fighter.
“I need to be professional about it,” Ferguson said, responding to whether he wanted to fight on Saturday. “I’m not going to let this guy beat me. I’m very focused and I have the ability to take the chaos and mould it. That’s my superpower—to go in there and do what I want with it. The best thing for me to do is… I’ll tell you why. There was this dude, we were trying to get back to the hotel for my family and the suites were all blockaded, I don’t know if you all saw that. You couldn’t get into the hotels because everybody was armed to the gills. We were trying to get back and when we do, everyone was look at me like they’re crazy.
“It was just one of the craziest things you can ever go through man.”
“If the fights going to happen we have to be professional about it,” Ferguson added.