Tony Ferguson has taken to social media to reflect on his tough 2020 and look ahead to 2021 with a positive mindset.

Last year was one to forget for ‘El Cucuy’ who entered 2020 with hopes of facing Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title.

Unfortunately, that fight wasn’t to be. Nurmagomedov was forced out of the bout due to travel issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Ferguson instead squared off against Justin Gaethje in the UFC 249 main event. ‘The Highlight’ was dominant from start to finish, beating Ferguson to the punch over five rounds before referee Herb Dean mercifully waved off the fight in the final stanza. The loss snapped Ferguson’s 12-fight winning streak which is the longest in UFC lightweight history.

A few months on and ‘El Cucuy’ was booked to face another tough lightweight opponent in Charles Oliveira. The Brazilian was riding a seven-fight win streak into the UFC 256 match-up but had not beaten anyone close to the caliber of Ferguson. On the night Oliveira was able to dictate the fight over three, five-minute rounds. In round one he almost snapped Ferguson’s arm with one of his signature submissions. Ferguson survived the full 15 minutes but was unanimously beaten in the eyes of the fans and the three judges scoring the fight.

Despite looking past his best in 2020 Ferguson remains optimistic about his fighting future and made that clear on Instagram.

“Noise Pollution” Cleared The Board Focused On My Next Well Alright, Put On Ma’Muddy Work Boots & Made 2020 My Bitch,” Ferguson wrote. “Here’s To Better Business Decisions & Moar Effort In Taking New Chances There Were Some That Bailed & Some That Stayed, And For That I Am Thankful. Not Everyone Has The Same Conditioning # BeFuerteMiGente Lift Each Other Up Don’t Stop Achieving Your Dreams Be The Change You Want To See Expect 2021 To Be The Biggest Meanest Sum’A’Ma’Bish’ You’ve Eva’Seen! Embrace It w/ A Different Perspective # HoldMyBeer# HandsUpChinDown Know What Needs To Happen & Put That Plan Into Motion Keep It Green, Healthy & Look After The Herd The Only Way To Go, Is To Grow My Crew -CSO- Champ Shit Only# PandemicGames # ThePeoplesChamp# ActiveRest **Remember To Stretch** 2021 I See You.”

Do you think Tony Ferguson can get back into title contention in 2021?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.