Saturday, September 24, 2022

Ferguson Addresses What Division He’ll Compete In After UFC 279

Former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson is open to many challenges following UFC 279 last weekend.

Ferguson was originally slated to face Li Jingliang in his welterweight return at UFC 279 on Saturday. It was his first welterweight fight since winning The Ultimate Fighter 13 back in June 2011.

Ferguson ended up getting a new Octagon assignment after a slew of changes on Friday. Khamzat Chimaev missed weight on Friday and forced the UFC to go with an unorthodox approach by pairing up six fighters with new opponents to keep the card intact.

Despite the last-second switch, Ferguson performed admirably against Diaz for as long as the fight lasted. Diaz caught him in a guillotine submission in Round 4 after an extremely competitive fight to that point.

The 38-year-old Ferguson seemed to be in a good place in his life during fight week and he isn’t taking the loss to Diaz as hard as he would’ve had he prepared for him all along. He’s looking ahead to his Octagon return and seems open to competing in multiple weight classes.

Tony Ferguson Says He Isn’t Short Of Options Following UFC 279

© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

During his UFC 279 post-fight press conference, Ferguson was asked about his next move.

“I hang my hat at two different places besides home, at ’55 and at 70,” Ferguson answered. “At ’70 it’s still been 10, 11 years. I mean was 14-2 with mostly knockouts, my body literally just got used to it. I fought in May, I lifted heavy, I was taking some weight gainer protein, doing it right…I enjoyed it, the fans and the supporters, my family first and just… it’s a different me out there and it’s a different me right now. I’m fucking thankful, thank you god man that we both came out of there happy and healthy.”

Entering UFC 279, Ferguson had lost four straight, including most recently to Beneil Dariush and Michael Chandler. His last win came against Donald Cerrone at UFC 238 in June 2019.

Ferguson has had a complicated relationship with the UFC in recent years and was critical of fighter pay issues involving the promotion. After his return to 170lbs, he seems like a rejuvenated version of the former interim titleholder.

Many believed that Ferguson would make welterweight his home for the rest of his career, though it seems that lightweight isn’t completely out of the question.

What’s your reaction to Tony Ferguson’s performance at UFC 279?

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