After being dominated by Charles Oliviera and eventually losing a unanimous decision at UFC 256 on Saturday night, Tony Ferguson finds himself in no-man’s-land. The 36-year old suffered further critical feedback from several people in the MMA community, featuring the manager of Ferguson’s arch-rivals, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje in Ali Abdelaziz. He took to Twitter and weighed in on the co-main event this past weekend, keeping it short and sweet.
The history between Ferguson and Gaethje was back in UFC 249 when “El Cucuy” suffered a fifth-round TKO to “The Highlight” earlier this spring. As for the retired Nurmagomedov, he had five occasions where he was going to face him for the covered UFC Lightweight Championship before plans fell through several times. Nothing formulated between the two. Ferguson had an eye-popping 12-fight win streak that spanned nearly six years and still did not receive the proper respect that he deserved. Seeing The Ultimate Fighter Season 13 Winner garner Fight of the Night success as the Interim Lightweight Champion was just not enough.
Before the fight with Oliviera, UFC President Dana White weighed in on Ferguson’s weight cutting status that required more work in the Gaethje bout but warned the press not to count him out in this one. Per Firstsportz.com, White kept one of his top 155-lbers in high regard.
“We all know that Tony’s dangerous in any fight. I don’t want to take anything away from Gaethje, but Tony does some crazy things sometimes. Tony does crazy things that don’t make sense sometimes. And I don’t think that Tony should have made weight when he didn’t have to fight and he then had to turn around and make weight again. I don’t care how tough you are and how long you’ve been doing this, that takes a toll on your body. I believe, personally that it impacted his fight against Gaethje,” White said.
In an unfortunate letdown, Charles Oliviera dictated the fight against a man who now has two strikes against him after winning twelve straight. White mentioned that he showed a tremendous amount of heart. It’s just that now Ferguson must start to weigh in on who he may have to face instead of who he wants to face to return to the form he was once accustomed to. With 2021 around the corner, this may be a make or break year for a well-decorated warrior built for destruction, but can he counter with a lethal dose of retribution?