Tony Ferguson does not appear to be taking the fact that he is currently riding a three-fight losing streak as a sign that he should be hanging up the gloves anytime soon.
The former interim lightweight title holder was thoroughly defeated by Beneil Dariush at UFC 262. Each judge decisively gave Dariush every round, as he competantly outrestled 'El Cucuy.' Ferguson's displays inside the octagon have left many fans wondering if it is time for him to retire.
Tony Ferguson has since reacted to his loss against Dariush by posting a series of images to his Twitter page. One of them contains a silhouette of Jesus Christ on the cross with the caption "Jesus didn't tap." The post was paired with the following caption:
"UFC 262 -CSO-I Won’t Tap # One. Day Of Reflection."
Ferguson is now on the worst run of his professional career, having also picked up prior losses to Charles Olivera and Justin Gaethje in 2020. It is worth noting that all three of Ferguson's losses have been against incredibly high-level opposition.
Olivera is the current champion, having defeated Michael Chandler on the same card that Ferguson competed on. Alternatively, Gaethje is currently the second-ranked lightweight in the UFC. Even Dariush will likely be ranked in the top five come tuesday.
Who could Ferguson fight next?
Now that Ferguson has made the decision to stay in the UFC, the question remains as to who he should be matched up with next. He may well fall outside the top ten rankings with a loss to ninth-ranked Dariush. This may leave Ferguson picking up the role of divisional gatekeeper.
The lightweight division is one of the most talent-stacked divisions in the UFC. Rising prospects such as Rafael Fiziev, Arman Tsarukyan and Brad Riddell would no doubt jump at the idea of fighting an established veteran as Ferguson.
Alternatively, ranked fighters just outside the top ten may well see an opportunity to ascend the rankings with a win over a former interim champion. Islam Makhachev, Gregor Gillespie and Diego Ferreira would all likely be interested.
However, it would be most logical to face Ferguson off against a fellow veteran of the sport. If Ferguson is fully committed to remaining in the UFC, then a matchup with fighter Paul Felder would be a mutually beneficial fight for both men.