Tony Ferguson Reveals Reason For UFC 274 Loss: “I Haven’t Sparred In Over 3 Years”

'El Cucuy' talked about the reasons for his unsuccessful outcome at UFC 274

Tony Ferguson
Credit: Tony Ferguson, UFC (via Twitter)

Former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson broke down his defeat at UFC 274.

As a veteran of the sport, Ferguson crafted a reputation for his unique striking. He went on a highly impressive 12-fight win streak during which Ferguson bloodied and butchered high-level opponents.

Following his win over Donald Cerrone in June 2019, Ferguson experienced a skid in his career. With his loss to Michael Chandler earlier this month, the 38-year-old has dropped four in a row now.

Tony Ferguson breaks down his UFC 274 loss

In a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Tony Ferguson opened up about his loss at UFC 274. When probed by interviewer Ariel Helwani about what he recalled from the finishing blow, Ferguson stated that he remembered: “not putting pressure.”

Ferguson spoke about a need for change in training techniques as he revealed the shortcomings he identified in his camp.

“I haven’t sparred in over three years, Ariel. Probably a little bit more than that. I’m talking about good sparring”

‘El Cucuy’ is confident in his preparation and surmised what must’ve gone through Chandler’s mind during the fight.

“We watched plenty of film in this fight. I knew exactly that Chandler had the flexibility to go for a head kick. Like I said, we worked on a lot of things. We chopped up his legs, checked up his kicks. I guarantee you he went to the corner, said my legs hurt because obviously from the Gaethje fight. I guarantee you he still wasn’t healed,”

“The only part that probably wasn’t hurting on his foot was the bottom of it. He remembered that those kicks hurt when I was throwing them in the first round”

Ferguson reveals the mistake he made

At UFC 274, Michael Chandler became the first man to put Tony Ferguson to sleep. After a successful first round for Ferguson, Chandler landed flush on the chin with a front kick that sent ‘El Cucuy’ face-first to the canvas.

Ferguson highlighted the one mistake he made that led to the finish.

“I try to keep my hands up most of the time. But when I was circling away I didn’t think he had the ability, to have that reach.”

Despite his best efforts, Ferguson still can’t remember what happened. Afterward, he has no memory of the octagon or Chuck Liddell’s encouraging words. It was just bad timing and bad luck, he thinks.

“I just remember not putting pressure, and me trying to figure that out,” Ferguson said. “I have to go back to listen to the commentary and the audio from the corner, but my wrestling coach said something about pressure, and I don’t know, it was just completely different. God told me I wasn’t ready, pretty much.”

Ferguson still feels incredible, though he doesn’t regret any of the fight’s events.

“There’s a lot, obviously, that I can go back and try to fix,” Ferguson said. “But props to Michael Chandler for using my f****** move to knock me out. That s*** don’t happen every day.”

UFC president Dana White praised Ferguson for his performance in the first round, something Tony cited as a motivator for him. White had shared that Ferguson’s future in the promotion would be secure regardless of the outcome of the fight. Reeling off four consecutive losses, Tony Ferguson will be looking to get his first win since 2019 in his next fight.

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