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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Tony Ferguson after suffering fifth straight loss at UFC 279?

UFC 279 went down this past weekend (Sat., Sept. 10, 2022) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, an action-packed pay-per-view (PPV) card that left plenty of fighters feeling the post-fight blues, including Kevin Holland, who was absolutely demolished by Khamzat Chimaev in the co-main event (highlights).

And Ion Cutelaba, who was choked out by resurgent Light Heavyweight bruiser Johnny Walker in the first round (see it again here). But, which UFC 279 fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Tony Ferguson.

Coming into the event, “El Cucuy” was gearing up to face Li Jingliang in the co-headlining act, second to Nate Diaz’s main event bout against Chimaev. But, in the blink of an eye, things changed drastically after “Borz” missed weight, thrusting Ferguson into the top spot against Diaz, a match up fight fans have been wanting to see for years.

Once the action was underway, fans got what they expected: two fighters with unique fighting styles trying to outdo each other. Ferguson was throwing his “spinning s—t” as usual, while Diaz was doing his best to out-strike “El Cucuy” with his boxing, a tool that always seems to be overlooked because his punches don’t pack a lot of heat.

Diaz was peppering Ferguson with volume and eventually lured “El Cucuy” into going for the takedown, which allowed him to instantly latch on to an air-tight guillotine choke, forcing the long-time veteran to tap. The loss was Ferguson’s fifth in a row after having his 12-fight win streak snapped in 2019, the year he last won a fight.

Ever the optimist, Ferguson tried to find a bit of sunshine in his darkest times.

“I’m gonna be real, I don’t see L’s, I see growth,” he said post-fight. “The last four fights that I had before this one, I’m gonna be real, I was sandbagging. I really wasn’t doing anything, my wife called me out. I found a good team, I found the most motley crew of people we could put together, we made f—king noise and it was fun as s—t, dude.

“Mentally strong, physically strong, emotionally strong, I feel good,” he added. “I’m ready for the next one.”

While five straight losses isn’t a good look for anyone, the fact that Ferguson was willing to step into a five-round main event when he was preparing for three rounds all camp will likely prevent him from facing any consequences for his skid. But, he is going to have to shine in his next fight if he wants to avoid the chopping block.

As far as what could realistically be next for the former interim Lightweight champion, it all depends on which weight class he decides to fight in. If he stays at Welterweight, perhaps a fight against Michael Chiesa, who is on a two-fight losing streak, makes sense.

If he decides to drop back down to 155 pounds, then a showdown against Dan Hooker could be in order if “Hangman” suffers his fifth loss in seven tries when he faces Claudio Puelles at UFC 281 in November.

For complete UFC 279 results and coverage click here.

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