Bad news for lightweight up-and-comers: Tony Ferguson is here to stay.
After a magnificent run through the lightweight division, the aging “El Cucuy” has now dropped two straight in 2020, recently getting dominated by Charles Oliveira in the UFC 256 pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event last weekend in Las Vegas.
Blame his flatness ... and his warm-up time.
“We are far from being retired,” Ferguson wrote on Instagram. “I felt flat. I went out and welcomed the attack instead of defending. The warm-up time in the back for UFC hasn’t been the same since pre-COVID. Still no excuses. Times change and so do people. It was fun fighting against a wet blanket. Mark my words, that scenario won’t happen again. Period.”
Ferguson, who turns 37 in February, was stopped by Justin Gaethje in the UFC 249 main event last May after COVID-19 kept Khabib Nurmagomedov stranded in Russia. While two losses at this level of competition is hardly anything to panic over, “El Cucuy” now seems miles away from a 155-pound title shot.
“Of course that’s possible,” UFC President Dana White said when asked if Ferguson was past his prime. “But Tony needs to go home and spend the holidays with his family and take some time off and think about what he wants to do next year and we’ll see what’s next for him. But yes, every time you fight in this business, that’s always possible.”
Ferguson dropped to 25-5 in defeat.