"He's taking some time off" - Dana White claims Tony Ferguson isn't 'eager to fight' after losing three UFC bouts in a row

UFC president Dana White (right) and lightweight fighter Tony Ferguson (left)
UFC president Dana White (right) and lightweight fighter Tony Ferguson (left)

Dana White has revealed Tony Ferguson is taking some time away from the octagon after losing his last three fights in the UFC.

Ferguson (25-6) last fought No.3-ranked Beneil Dariush at UFC 262 in May this year. He lost the three-round co-main event via unanimous decision. The result followed prior setbacks against current champion Charles Oliveira and former interim titleholder Justin Gaethje.

During a recent conversation with UFC Arabia's Farah Hannoun, the UFC president stressed that 'El Cucuy' is still one of the most talented fighters on the promotion's roster.

"No, no, nothing on Tony. I don't think he's eager to fight right now. I think he's taking some time off... Listen, he's still one of the most talented guys out there. When he's ready to come back, we'll match him up and we'll see how he does."

Watch Dana White in conversation with Farah Hannoun below:

White is currently in Abu Dhabi for UFC 267, which will be available for free to fans in the United States. The event will be the promotion's first non-pay-per-view numbered event since UFC 138 in 2011.

Tony Ferguson was scheduled to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the title before going on a three-fight skid

Tony Ferguson was once on a 12-fight winning streak, which began with a submission win over Mike Rio at UFC 166 in October 2013.

During his remarkable run, Ferguson accumulated victories over Rafael dos Anjos, Kevin Lee, Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone. The streak saw him seal a lightweight title clash against Khabib Nurmagomedov, scheduled for UFC 249 last May.

However, the fight didn't come to fruition after 'The Eagle' became stuck in Russia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Tony Ferguson eventually took on replacement Justin Gaethje on the same card in an interim title bout. He lost via fifth-round TKO and 'The Highlight' left Jacksonville with the gold.

Never say never but I think we just lost Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson forever. I guess it was just never meant to be friends. #UFC249

Ferguson never fought Khabib Nurmagomedov despite having had an encounter with the Dagestani canceled a whopping five times. The duo were scheduled to fight at the Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale, at UFC 196, UFC 209, UFC 223 and UFC 249.

Khabib pulled out three times due to injury, ill effects of a weight cut and COVID-19, while Feguson withdrew twice due to health issues.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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