Tony Ferguson Joins Forces with Legendary Boxing Coach Freddie Roach Ahead of His UFC Return

Published 02/25/2021, 12:42 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 07: Tony Ferguson celebrates after his submission victory over Kevin Lee in their interim UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 216 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 7, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC lightweight, Tony Ferguson, took to social media and shared an appreciation post for famed boxing coach, Freddie Roach. ‘El Cucuy’ gave a shout-out to Roach and Wildcard Boxing Gym for having him over to train and sharpen his skills. Chiefly, Ferguson’s description of events lays out a heavy emphasis on tightening up his right hand to land bombs.

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Freddie Roach has had a storied legacy of training some of the best boxers to step foot in the ring. Ferguson has been in love with showcasing his unorthodox stand-up technique and would have trained in some fundamentals with Roach.

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What’s more, the former interim champion is in need of bringing in new facets to his overall MMA game. Hence, MMA fans would be keen on seeing ‘El Cucuy’s new boxing routine in his next UFC fight.

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Tony Ferguson: Back to the top

El Cucuy’ came into 2020 as the number one contender ready to face Khabib Nurmagomedov in an all-time classic. However, by the end of the year, he was at the back of the line with two straight devastating losses to his name. Additionally, the skid snapped the 12-fight losing streak that made him one of the most feared lightweight contenders.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 11: Tony Ferguson poses on the scale during the UFC 256 weigh-in at UFC APEX on December 11, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Ferguson was TKO’ed in round five against Justin Gaethje when the two met for the interim strap at UFC 249. While he had success in certain positions, Ferguson was largely outclassed on the feet by a highly motivated Gaethje. Not to mention, his next fight in December against Charles Oliveira went horribly wrong as the Brazilian dominated him.

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‘Do Bronx’ controlled the entire fight and even had Ferguson in a fight-ending armbar early on. Ferguson’s decline is highly debated by fans as either a reflection of time passing or simply a bump in the road. His next fight will be critical to determine the trajectory of his career going forward.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 12: (L-R) Charles Oliveira of Brazil punches Tony Ferguson in their lightweight bout during the UFC 256 event at UFC APEX on December 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

There are several opponents who make sense for Tony Ferguson who is still hanging around the shortlist for contention. The 25-5 fighter could potentially face Dan Hooker, who is also fresh off a devastating loss in his last bout. It’s essential that Tony uses a diversified skill set in combat and etch his place at lightweight.

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Could his stint with Roach be just what’s needed to help him spring back to the top of the rankings?

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Darryl Pinto

1450 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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