“If This Is My Last MMA Fight…”: Days After Dana White’s Suggestion, Tony Ferguson Makes Revealing Confession About His Retirement Rumors After Paddy Pimblett Fight at UFC 296

Published 10/03/2023, 3:02 AM EDT

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Tony Ferguson recently went candid about his expectations after the Paddy Pimblett fight. The former interim lightweight champion faced several losses in the last couple of years. Six, to be exact. Back to back. That’s not entirely a good look for a fighter who was once famous for his legendary 12-fight win streak in the UFC. Nevertheless, he isn’t completely out of the game. Yet.

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The 39-year-old recently gave an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. The two discussed different questions like how the fight came to be and then what the expectations of it were. Ferguson’s fight against ‘The Baddy’ is one of the most interesting fights in the upcoming months but what happens afterward? ‘El Cucuy’ gave us some insight.

Will Tony Ferguson retire after fighting Paddy ‘The Baddy’?

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Coming off of a six-fight losing streak cannot be easy for Tony Ferguson. The trouble started when he first lost his match against former interim champion Justin Gaethje. Since then, he’s lost all of his fights and has looked to be in a steady decline, especially for someone who has been in the game for so long. Dana White also suggested that “he would probably look at calling it (quits)” with a loss at UFC 296. So what does Ferguson have to say about it now?

“Everybody wants to throw the r-word around,” said Ferguson. “If this is my last MMA fight, what sport do you think I’m gonna go do? I’ve always wanted to go to the Olympics and go wrestle, you know? At least we get to wear wrestling shoes.” 

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Ferguson gave out a bittersweet chuckle as he spoke about retiring. The fighter didn’t give a crystal clear answer to the retirement question. The R-word (retirement) is probably one of the scariest things in the MMA world. Leaving the UFC, especially after a loss, can prove detrimental to the fighter’s overall image. Nobody wants to end on a loss.

What will Ferguson do if he retires?

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Like he said, he could go into wrestling and become an Olympic competitor for the gold. But will this eliminate the MMA fighter that’s still in him? Paddy ‘The Baddy’ is coming off of several wins and looks like he’s in good shape to give Ferguson some competition. So win or lose, after the fight, the fighter has some other outlooks.

“I talked to my coach and I told him I really want to pursue a lot of different goals that I had in my mind. But I never had anybody pushing me to get to that next level… if I had to ask somebody ‘hey do you think I should retire right now?’ And any of my trainers they’d be like ‘no.’”

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It’s only reasonable for teammates and fans to not want their favorites to retire. However, the truth is, Ferguson has been fighting for over a decade now. And after the losing streak, there are some who say that his glory days might just be behind him. Either way, the fighter confidently claimed “I only know how to compete”. So one way or another, Ferguson will find another sport to get into. Until then, we’ll just have to wait to see if Pimblett takes down the fighter badly enough to cause retirement.

Watch This Story: Dana White Adds New Fight To UFC 296

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Written by:

Prit Chauhan

701Articles

One take at a time

Prit is a UFC writer at Essentially Sports. He gained great interest in the sport when he first saw WWE’s Brock Lesnar enter the cage. Having written stories in many formats helps Prit combine his craft of sewing together a narrative and his passion for MMA.
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Edited by:

Yeswanth Praveen

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