After four straight losses, Tony Ferguson desperately needed a win to revive his career and get back to winning ways. El Cucuy was originally paired with Li Jingliang but ended up fighting Nate Diaz. Nate, for whom it was a farewell fight from the UFC, was a more than adequate opponent through which Ferguson could return to winning ways.
Both are far from their best editions, and Diaz's motivation before this event was also not at a particularly high level considering that he couldn't wait to leave the UFC. Unfortunately for Ferguson, his career continued to spiral downward.
Tony was forced to submit two minutes and nine seconds before the end of the fourth round, and Nate Diaz became the first fighter to beat him by submission, at least when it comes to Tony's career under the auspices of the UFC.
In total, it is Ferguson's second defeat by "submission" in his entire career.
"El Cucuy" gives his analysis
“I should have kept it standing,” Ferguson said at the evening’s post-fight press conference. “Period.
Got to discuss some things with my cornermen. Nothing bad. Nobody’s getting fired, nobody’s doing f****** bad. It’s just some adjustments, it’s a new game for me, mixing it up, putting the MMA together. My [originally scheduled opponent], Li [Jingliang], was a right-hander.
If I would have went for the takedown [against Li] it would have been more difficult for him to do that kind of stuff, but Nate, he prepared for Khamzat [Chimaev]. You saw Khamzat when he took down Kevin Holland. He went, took him out on the right side, it was a right-handed opponent, it was on his lead jab.
He went straight, put him down. “I guarantee you Nate was looking for that guillotine the whole entire camp. They had a full camp to be able to do stuff. It is what you practice. We did a lot of wrestling practice and we did a lot of good stuff.
It was just unfortunate, s*** happens. I wish it would have made it to the fifth round. I know what to do better next time. It f****** sucks”. In this match, Tony collaborated for the first time with the JacksonWink team, the famous MMA gym where Jon Jones spent a large part of his career.
It is hard to say that he got the wrong advice from the corner because Diaz hit him more and more specifically in the stand. Ferguson's corner tried to advise Ferguson to change something because he was losing on his feet, but Tony simply ended up in a guillotine.
What is much more critical is Ferguson's complete performance. 38-year-old Tony is not even a shadow of the fighter he once was, and after five consecutive defeats, the question is how much continuing his career even makes sense.
The impression is that he cannot compete with ranked fighters, be it in lightweight or welterweight, and considering that these are the two best categories in the promotion, it is questionable how much he can do against unranked ones.
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