In a very long statement posted on his Instagram, Tony Ferguson says that the thought of his son was what motivated him not to tap the canvas during Charles Oliveira's armlock. Even though Ferguson persevered through the next two rounds, he still lost via unanimous decision.
Tony Ferguson started the post by saying that he didn't reach the right 'aggressiveness level' required for the fight. This was due to the new warm-up standards that the UFC introduced because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"My crew, no excuses. I felt flat. I went out, and [I] welcomed the attack instead of defending. The warm-up time in the back for UFC hasn't been the same since pre-covid. Still, no excuses. Times change, and so do people. The time from [the] hotel to [the] UFC Apex is much more condensed, and the aggressive level we needed was not reached. [It is] my fault."
The image of Tony Ferguson's arm twisting during Oliveira's armlock is terrifying. Many people were concerned that he broke his arm, or that it was severely injured, at the very least. But Tony Ferguson tranquilized his fans, saying that he even went to a sparring session after the bout.
"After the fight, we were checked by doctors, and [we] went back to the hotel. I felt it was in order to hit pads/spar immediately because the fight was fresh in my mind, and blood circulation in my arm was needed. I really needed to figure out what the f*cking problem was from the fight."
Tony Ferguson seems to be very annoyed with the disappointing result. This was his second straight loss after a 12-win streak. 'El Cucuy' announced he would review the fight together with the fans in a live video on his Instagram.
"Charles [Oliveira] was looking [to] take my back or go for the armbar as soon as we hit the mat. Thus I didn't worry about the mount, [the] kid was slick, but so am I. I was looking for the knockout standing and D'Arce [choke] from [the] bottom position once we hit jits transitions. It was fun fighting against a wet-blanket (also known as "heavy pressure opponent"). Mark my words: that scenario won't happen again. Period."
The UFC lightweight contender then explained that the thought of his son, Armand Anthony, and his pain endurance helped him get through the final seconds of the first round after Oliveira applied him a tight armbar.
"My arm is alright. The armbar was really tight. The thought of my son Armand Anthony's ability to be double-jointed in his elbow during that sequence and my mental capacity to endure pain got me through it."
Tony Ferguson finished the statement by thanking his fans, his team, and his own talents. The 36-year-old also mentioned the rumors of a possible retirement, making clear that he is not planning to stop fighting any time soon.
"I'm beyond grateful and thankful for my talents. I have learned so much about myself this year and what my purpose in life is. My search for that epic word called "greatness" isn't over. Understand crew? We are far from being retired," Ferguson wrote. "Shout out to my team [that] I put together on three weeks' notice. We're still green boys. Thanks for not deserting me. (Team, we're barely scratching the surface to what we can truly accomplish, and for that, I say amen). It was great making weight and being around my fight family for the week. I can't wait until we compete in front of a big loud crowd again. It's not the same without you all."
What's next for Tony Ferguson in the UFC?
Following his defeat to Charles Oliveira in UFC 256, Tony Ferguson's title fight ambitions have seemed to have cooled off. Ahead of the bout, he ranted at the press, saying they never supported him in his pursuit for the UFC lightweight championship.
Even with 12 wins in a row, Tony Ferguson never had a title shot. He was scheduled to fight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov five different times, but the bout never took place.
Facing criticism over his poor wrestling performance against Oliveira, Tony Ferguson will have to show once more that he is one of the best UFC lightweight fighters if he still wants to have a shot at the division's title.
With the UFC set to axe 60 names by the end of the year, the promotion's president Dana White assured that Tony Ferguson has no reason to worry. White is sure 'El Cucuy' will be back to action after recovering.
"I mean, Ferguson's a guy that's gotta go take some time. Figure out what he wants to do, what's his gameplan for 2021. You know I think Tony is still a couple of fights away from making any crazy decisions [such as retiring] like that," said White after UFC 256.
Does Tony Ferguson need a break from UFC? Sound off in the comments.Published 16 Dec 2020, 07:52 IST