Daniel Cormier knows a thing or two about competing at the highest level; after his legendary career in the UFC in which he acquired belts at light heavyweight and heavyweight.
But he doesn’t think that Tony Ferguson has what it takes to challenge the top UFC lightweights anymore after his most recent loss to Beneil Dariush at UFC 262.
During his weekly show with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani on Monday, Cormier spoke about what could be next in Ferguson’s UFC career.
“Tony Ferguson, as a top-level mixed martial artist, is done I believe,” Cormier said. “Make no mistake about it, he’s not losing to scrubs. He’s fighting the best of the best, but those are fights that Tony Ferguson used to win.”
“He is not only losing but he is getting dominated. He has now lost 11 rounds in a row and has not looked competitive. So I think Tony needs to take a step back, and the level of competition obviously needs to drop, and we need to see where he goes.”
Ferguson was dominated from start to finish against Dariush, in a contender-eliminator of sorts in the UFC’s stacked lightweight division. Ferguson has now lost three in a row including falling to Justin Gaethje in his fight for the interim lightweight belt at UFC 249. His last win came by doctor’s stoppage against Donald Cerrone at UFC 238.
With the losing streak, Ferguson appears to be at a bit of a crossroads in his career. He could take lesser competition at lightweight and have to get a massive winning streak just to get back in the conversation involving the belt, or he could hang up the gloves altogether.
Cormier is one of the brightest analysts in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts today and had his own experience when it came to figuring out when to remove himself from the competition. A lot of fans wanted Cormier to stick around after falling to Stipe Miocic in their trilogy at UFC 252, he announced he would retire from the UFC and focus on coaching wrestling along with his broadcasting career with ESPN.
Ferguson is obviously extremely talented in and out of the octagon and will surely have plenty of opportunities once he decides to retire.
In an Instagram post following the fight this past weekend, Ferguson appeared in good spirits and optimistic about what could be next in his combat sports career.
Another interesting thought is Ferguson could stop cutting weight and move to welterweight, a division in which he competed and dominated during his time on The Ultimate Fighter 13. That could be a plausible option as he moves to the twilight of his career.
For now, it appears that Ferguson won’t be retiring from MMA just yet and will not give up. He’s still one of the biggest fan favorites in the UFC and could still make things interesting regardless of whatever division he competes at.
Do you agree with Daniel Cormier’s opinion that Tony Ferguson is done competing for UFC belts? What do you think his next move should be?