Are Tony Ferguson’s best days behind him?
That depends on who you ask. Top-ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight title contender, Kevin Lee, believes the interim 155-pound champion is never going to be the same after suffering a devastating knee injury earlier this month.
One that booted him from his title unification bout at UFC 223.
Ferguson holds a submission victory over Lee from their UFC 216 staph meeting last October. “The Motown Phenom” insists that version of “El Cucuy” is gone forever, especially with his advancing age and cumulative wear-and-tear after a decade in combat sports.
Lee talks to Joe Rogan:
“I feel bad for the guy, I really do. I don’t think he’ll ever be the same coming off that one. That’s huge, especially at 34, to try and come back off that. And it kind of sucks for me, too, because I think I fought the best Tony Ferguson that you’re gonna see, period, really. I think the body can come back, it’s just I don’t know if his mind will let him be as free, that was one of Tony’s biggest assets. He just does whatever the fuck he wants, and now, when he gets back in there, is he gonna be thinking about his knee? Even if that’s at the back of your mind, it’s limited to that type of style that he likes to fight.”
Ferguson (23-3) has won 10 straight with seven finishes.
Lee finished Edson Barboza in the UFC Fight Night 128 main event last weekend in Atlantic City, New Jersey (replay), inserting himself back into the lightweight title chase. Who gets the first crack at Khabib Nurmagomedov’s crown could depend on the return dates of both Ferguson and Conor McGregor, who outrank “Motown Phenom” in the championship pecking order.
Unless this surprise entrant gets the unexpected nod.