One of the most entertaining lightweights in UFC history, Tony Ferguson is on a tough spot as he is already on a 3 fight losing streak. It all started turning downhill when he was scheduled to face Khabib Nurmagomedov but due to the country’s lockdown, Justin Gaethje stepped on short notice.
It proved to be a bad idea for Tony Ferguson as it preparing Gaethje is a totally different type of fight. Khabib was a heavy grappler, that did not possess great counter striking as for Gaethje he had dynamite hands and was fully prepared to simply strike with Ferguson. In the fight, there were moments for Ferguson but it was a massacre as Gaethje demolished Ferguson’s face.
The loss changed Ferguson for the worse, he was never the same since that fight. Ferguson then wanted to at least fight before the year ends. He called out former Bellator champion who was then newly signed fighter, Michael Chandler. Although Chandler has gone on to say that he wants to Tony Ferguson, it was just not the perfect timeline for him as he aimed to fight under a McGregor card as many fans will tune in, in return better publicity.
The UFC booked him to face Charles Oliveira, who many call the Tony 2.0. Oliveira’s style of fighting kind of resembles Ferguson, both have great BJJ and creative striking. It was just Oliveira was in his prime years, and Tony’s career standpoint was not the same anymore. He was coming off a loss and to face a rising contender that was on a 7 fight win streak was not a good idea.
Charles Oliveira dominated Ferguson wherever, he took Ferguson down easily. It was at that moment that Ferguson showed to be slower than his usual self. Father time may have caught up to him. Many are aware that Oliveira went on to become the next UFC lightweight champion.
Ferguson did not want an easy fight, he was then willing to face an elite BJJ, Beneil Dariush who was on a 6 fight win streak. Ferguson just won’t shy away from any challenges. In the fight, Beneil dominated all rounds as once Beneil took him down, Ferguson had no answer.
For a 37-year-old to compete in the lightweight division, it is hard to stay at the top. Ferguson is getting older and has had one great career, he may have failed to fight for the undisputed title, but it was not his fault.
During his prime years, McGregor made the division wait for a long time. During that time, two lightweights were at the top Khabib and Ferguson. By the time it was for the undisputed, Ferguson pulled out due to an injury and the other one was due to the pandemic. Khabib vs Tony was the fight the fans wanted but never got.
As for Ferguson’s future, he might need to decide to hang it up. He may not be able to improve anytime soon due to his late age. It is very unlikely he is going to fight for the title. It would have been different had it been in the bigger weight divisions. El Cucuy is still had one of the best UFC runs in the lightweight division.