Tony Ferguson made weight Friday – despite not having a fight Saturday.

Currently scheduled to fight Justin Gaethje on the UFC’s return event on May 9, Ferguson (25-3 MMA, 15-1 UFC) took it upon himself to make weight on their originally scheduled weigh-in date.

Why would Ferguson cut weight less than a month before his actual fight cut?

“It wasn’t just for me, man,” Ferguson told ESPN on Friday. “It was for my team and my sponsors and obviously my family. It was just a commitment to myself to follow through with my weight cut. We were supposed to have a fight here. Obviously Khabib (Nurmagomedov) … didn’t make the fight. Justin Gaethje filled in. To me, it just made (expletive) sense, man. It is what it is.

“I like the way my body is adjusting to this. I just spent probably an hour-and a-half of rehydrating. It was a good practice run for me mentally and physically. I’m close to weight.”

As for the May 9 fight vs. Gaethje (21-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC), Ferguson said he’s not sure if his opponent is on board. However, he implied his weight cut shows he has the mental edge over Gaethje.

“I don’t know if Justin Gaethje is down to take the fight or not,” Ferguson said. “I don’t know what’s going on with the fight. We knew we were going to make weight Friday. Me and my team, my team and I did diligence making sure we showed up, did work, (and) put in the extra credit. Even when nobody was here, I even did further than that. I had to go push myself to be mentally tough and make sure I hit this cut on time.

“For me to make weight and Justin Gaethje not to make weight? That’s a chalkline right there. That’s a chalkline versus any opponent that I have. Any person that would make championship weight today was a smart one who’s going to compete on that card – that is still competing. If they don’t, it’s not their fault either.”

According to Ferguson, when he started his cut this week, he weighed 179 pounds. Hitting 155 pounds on the dot Friday signaled Ferguson had lost 24 hours in four-and-a-half days.

“We did our best to get me to a certain weight that I could,” Ferguson said. “I had to stay hydrated. I was heavy, man. I was at 179 (pounds) at the beginning of the week. (Expletive) crazy, but I had to trust the process. I did it. I made it difficult for myself, but I’m glad I did. If I don’t have to make it difficult for myself, watch out.”

A former UFC interim lightweight champion, Ferguson was supposed to compete against UFC lightweight champion Nurmagomedov in a long-awaited booking scheduled four times before.

Due to the coronavirus restrictions, Nurmagomedov became stuck in Russia, leaving the door open for short-notice replacement Gaethje to step in. However, the event was ultimately canceled when UFC broadcast partners ESPN and Disney stepped in.