Ferguson Suffers First Loss Since 2012
Although he would praise his endurance, UFC president Dana White believes Tony Ferguson ultimately suffered the effects of cutting weight twice in one month.
Ferguson suffered his first defeat since 2012 after succumbing to a fifth-round TKO defeat to Justin Gaethje in their interim lightweight title headliner at UFC 249 last night. “El Cucuy” absorbed plenty of damage throughout the contest as he was notably rocked a number of times until a final jab from Gaethje seemed to have shut his body down as Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the bout.
Heaps of praise went Gaethje’s way for his performance, but many observers wondered if this was the moment that Ferguson showed signs of a major decline. The fact that he unnecessarily cut weight last month didn’t help matters according to White.
“Gaethje looked incredible tonight, he fought the perfect fight,” White told SportsCenter after the event. “I don’t want take anything away from Gaethje but Tony looked slow tonight, Tony looked old, he looked off his game.
“I would imagine it had something to do with him cutting weight twice in one month, in my opinion.”
Nobody will know for sure.
It certainly may have played a role, but it could also have been a result of Gaethje not only being the hardest hitter he had ever faced, but also putting in the performance of his life.
Regardless, White praised Ferguson for his overall durability and chin.
“The guy isn’t human,” he said in the post-fight press conference. “He’s got a chin like nothing, Nobody takes Gaethje’s punches like that. Nobody I’ve seen since I’ve been watching Gaethje fight. But this kid did. Tony Ferguson is a special human being.”
One wonders what the long-term effects of taking those punches will be.