Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Coach Comments on Tony Ferguson’s losing streak and his post-UFC Potential

Tony Ferguson

Javier Mendez, the legendary coach of UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov, believes there are plenty of options for Tony Ferguson outside of the Octagon.

‘El Cucuy’ suffered his seventh-straight loss under the UFC banner at the promotion’s final pay-per-view of the year, dropping a unanimous decision to rising UK-based contender Paddy Pimblett. Now tied with BJ Penn for the most consecutive losses in UFC history, many fight fans expected Tony Ferguson to lay down his gloves following the defeat. However, the moment never came.

Instead, Ferguson stormed out of the Octagon as soon as the decision was announced and then proceeded to suggest that his career was still far from over.

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Speaking about Ferguson’s career trajectory, Mendez believes that there are a lot of lucrative options outside of the UFC, should ‘El Cucuy’ move on from his time with the Las Vegas-based promotion. But whether or not he retires is for nobody, but him to decide.

“Well, number one, the UFC releasing him at this stage might benefit them,” Mendez said on his podcast. “Before it didn’t because he was still a needle-mover. He’s really good for advertising, hyping fights up. Tony’s still good at that. So, the fact that there’s bare-knuckle fighting, the fact that there’s other organizations out there it means that Tony still has a job if he wants to, a high-paying job ’cause people pay to watch him.

“So, I think he probably needs to really look at himself now because that’s seven in a row, and he keeps changing things up. Father time’s catching him up more. It’s gonna be up to him and his family, but I don’t want to say he should retire. That’s on him” (h/t MMAKnockout.com).

Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov were scheduled to scrap for the lightweight world title on no less than five separate occasions. Each time, the bout fell through for one reason or another. The last attempt came in April 2020, but the bout was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A month later, ‘El Cucuy’ would go on to fight Justin Gaethje in the first of his seven straight defeats.

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