Tony Ferguson suffered his second straight loss inside the Octagon this weekend at UFC 256. The former interim champion lost to Charles Oliveira via unanimous decision in what was a dominant performance by the Brazilian fighter. In the lead-up to the bout, many had expected Ferguson to bounce back. However, that wasn’t the case as El Cucuy lost in a dominant fashion once again inside the Octagon after his TKO loss over Justin Gaethje early this year at UFC 249.
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It marks his second straight loss and has promptly thrown him out of the title picture. Needless to say, Tony Ferguson was well on his way to get his first title opportunity after 11 straight wins inside the Octagon. However, Ferguson’s devastating loss against Gaethje left many wondering about his future in the UFC.
As upset as it might be, Ferguson’s title shot is likely over. He is 36 years old and is coming off back-to-back losses inside the Octagon. Needless to say, the damage he took at UFC 249 against Justin Gaethje had a huge impact on the MMA veteran and it will difficult to come back to the top.
In all likelihood, it looks like the winner of Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier could be looking at a potential title opportunity. Meanwhile, Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje are also in contention for the lightweight gold. On the other hand, Charles Oliveira with a win over Ferguson is a likely contender as well. It puts Tony Ferguson in a precarious situation.
Should Tony Ferguson retire?
A lot has been said about Tony Ferguson’s future in the UFC. The 36-year old veteran has been unlucky in landing a title opportunity. Needless to say, he will go down as one of the greatest mixed martial artists to never win the championship gold. Earlier, after his devastating loss over Gaethje, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov had stated that Ferguson won’t be the same after that fight, and rightfully so.
Charles Oliveira dominated Ferguson for the better part of the entire bout. Ferguson looked slow and managed to land little to no damage on the Brazilian fighter.
“Tony Ferguson’s time is finished. Now, he’s gonna come back, someone’s gonna beat him again I believe. When you take damage like this, you’re never gonna be the same. Never ever. Even if you’re Tony Ferguson. He took too much damage.” Khabib had said.
There’s a reason to believe that Ferguson should hang his gloves. El Cucuy has entertained the fight world for more than a decade. He has put up some of the most incredible performances inside the Octagon. However, that likely won’t be the case.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) December 13, 2020
Many might argue that age is a factor, but it’s the approach. Ferguson is 36 years old and contrary to what fight fans might believe, he is still not old enough to hang up his gloves.
However, Ferguson is old for the approach he displays in his fight. If he can make adjustments to his fight game, avoid leg kicks to his knees that have gone through repeated surgeries, and try to control the fight and take it to the judges, there’s a reason to believe that Ferguson might be able to jump back to the title picture. Ferguson shouldn’t retire just yet. He is still a huge name and one big fight and win could plummet him back to the top of the lightweight division.