Justin Gaethje was almost ready to write Tony Ferguson off after he beat him at UFC 249 but something has changed. In the lead-up to his fight with Michael Chandler, Gaethje has given Ferguson a little praise for being a very tough opponent. Gaethje was recently a guest on the UFC Unfiltered podcast when he was asked about his thoughts on champion Charles Oliveira. He credits Ferguson with giving Oliveira his toughest task.
“He (Oliveira) fought eight in a row. But at the end of the day, Tony Ferguson was the best win on that streak by far,” Gaethje said. “And it was after I put him through 24 minutes and 15 seconds of straight hell. And I didn’t break him. He’s not done. The dude’s a special kind of dude, so he’ll never be broken.”
This is a 180 of where Gaethje was just a few months ago. After their fight, Gathje has basically called for Ferguson to hang up his gloves. In fact, Gaethje said the Ferguson would “never be the same” after his fifth-round TKO loss to Gaethje. Since that loss, Ferguson has fought two more times, both unanimous decision losses.
It is unclear if Ferguson is going to fight again in the UFC. Although his peers have called for his retirement, Ferguson has no plans for that at this time. However, if he is planning a return it might be difficult considering the UFC cannot contact him. Ferguson has always been one of the more unusual and unique fighters on the roster but that is what makes him a fan favorite. He is still ranked #6 in the division and could possibly find his way back to a title shot with a few good wins.
Do you think Tony Ferguson still has what it takes to be competitive in the UFC at this point in his career?