Daniel Cormier believes the most discouraging aspect of UFC 279 was seeing the steep decline of Tony Ferguson.
Ferguson suffered his fifth defeat in a row after getting submitted by Nate Diaz in the fourth round of their welterweight headliner this past weekend.
“El Cucuy” had his moments on the feet, but looked light years away from his performances just a couple of years ago as he was slower, hesitant to get hit and made repeated mistakes.
Despite the setback, Ferguson declared he was back in his post-fight interview.
Daniel Cormier Questions What Tony Ferguson Saw In His Performance
That’s something that baffled Cormier, who acknowledged Ferguson was as good as anyone in his prime.
However, it’s clear to him that Ferguson has now fallen off a cliff in terms of his level and performance.
“The most discouraging thing about it is Tony Ferguson’s decline,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel (via MMA Junkie). “It’s sad because for so long, he was so good in a weight division where it was hard to become the champion. So he only held a portion of the belt by becoming interim champion, but Tony Ferguson at his peak was as good as anybody in the UFC. But his decline now has been very steep, and it hasn’t been gradual. It was very fast how he kind of fell off a cliff.
“I’m kind of interested to see what Tony Ferguson is going to do next. He said he’s back when the fight was over, and I don’t know what guided him to believe that he’s back in that performance. Sure, he did some things well. But I don’t believe for a second that Tony Ferguson should have taken that performance and feel like he’s building toward something.”
Cormier did give credit to Ferguson, however.
He believed it was a good fight and that Ferguson did well to chop up Diaz’s legs.
With that said, the former interim champion couldn’t fully capitalize on it and part of that was due to Diaz’s toughness.
“It was a good fight, but what never leaves a guy is his toughness, and Nate Diaz’s toughness was on full display inside the octagon,” Cormier said. “Tony Ferguson hurt him a lot with those inside leg kicks, and the moment the fight was over, when Nate went to leave the octagon, he was limping very bad because his leg was beat up.”
Do you agree with Daniel Cormier about Tony Ferguson’s decline?