In what was touted as a critical fight for his career, Ferguson (25-6 MMA, 15-4 UFC) dropped a one-sided unanimous decision to Beneil Dariush (21-4-1 MMA, 15-4-1 UFC) in the co-headliner at the Toyota Center.
After dropping back-to-back fights for the first time, Ferguson made changes to his preparation by teaming up with Freddie Roach. It didn’t pay dividends as he was overwhelmed in the grappling.
What happens now for the 38-year-old? UFC president Dana White said he doesn’t know what’s next for him.
“I don’t know,” White told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at the UFC 262 post-fight news conference. “I haven’t even thought about it. He’s tough as hell though, man. He was in that heel hook and his ankle was definitely popping and his ankle the rest of the fight looked like a golf ball. Maybe even a baseball. He kept fighting. There’s no quit in that dude. He’s tough.
“He had a tough three rounds. He couldn’t get up from underneath Beneil, and he had a tough night. So I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”
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Ferguson, a former interim lightweight champion, was on a 12-fight winning streak before his string of losing results. It began with a fifth-round TKO loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 in May 2029, then he lost a one-sided decision to Charles Oliveira.
White doesn’t know if it was the Gaethje fight specifically that’s contributing to current results, but he agrees “El Cucuy” is in a rough predicament.
“It could be (the damage from the Gaethje loss), it could be, just, time gets us all,” White said. “It’s one of those things. I don’t know which one, or both. But unfortunately, it’s definitely hit Tony.”