There has never been a rise and fall in UFC history quite like that of Tony Ferguson.
Long reigning as the boogeyman of the UFC’s marquee lightweight division, Ferguson left a trail of bodies in his wake—bruised, battered, and bloodied. At one point in his career, the former interim UFC champion was on a 12-fight winning streak, standing on top of the world and, for many, the uncrowned champion of the 155-pound division.
However, time and tide wait for none.
In 2020, the downfall of the UFC legend began as Justin Gaethje exorcised the demon by putting on a striking clinic to win the interim title. For many, it seemed like a minor roadblock, but in more ways than one, it signaled the end of the road for everyone’s favorite fighter.
Ferguson’s loss to Gaethje kickstarted a series of defeats, with the first one coming against Charles Oliveira. Then came losses to Beneil Dariush, Michael Chandler, Nate Diaz, Bobby Green, and Paddy Pimblett, who handed Ferguson his seventh consecutive loss in the promotion at UFC 296.
Paddy the Baddy Pimblett— Highly Versed (@imhighlyversed) December 17, 2023
Making light work of Tony Ferguson pic.twitter.com/D4avJfHLas
If he loses one more time, Ferguson will join Sam Alvey as the second guy to endure eight consecutive losses, the most in UFC history.
It’s already bad… but it can be worse if he doesn’t stop fighting, and before that happens, Tony Ferguson should retire because he doesn’t have it in him anymore. He lacks the same speed, agility, pressure, and most importantly, the cardio that crushed so many.
To make matters worse, Ferguson is displaying concerning signs of CTE and brain trauma, and if the UFC continues to match him against young and hungry prospects, his story could end tragically. He simply doesn’t have the same capabilities anymore, and it would be in his best interest to retire.
It’s understandable why Ferguson wants to continue fighting. He wants to be the best once again. He wants to achieve his dream of becoming a champion, and most importantly, he doesn’t want to quit because he loves fighting. He is addicted to it, but the truth is; that he should have exited the UFC after his loss to Nate Diaz.
While one can empathize with his desire to continue fighting, he is causing more harm than good to himself by refusing to retire. With an illustrious career behind him, it’s now time for Ferguson to step back, relish quality time with his family and prioritize his mental as well as physical well being.
If he doesn’t take a decision himself, it’s high time Dana White shuts the door on him – for his good.