Why Did Tony Ferguson Lose to Justin Gaethje at UFC 249?

Published 05/07/2021, 2:26 PM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, FL – MAY 09: Tony Ferguson (L) of the United States looks to punch Justin Gaethje (R) of the United States in their Interim lightweight title fight during UFC 249 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 9, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)


Tony Ferguson got his 12-fight winning streak snapped when he fought Justin Gaethje at UFC 249. The former UFC interim lightweight champion was originally set to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov in what would be his first shot at undisputed UFC gold.

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However, due to restrictions in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19, Nurmagomedov was unable to travel to the United States. The fight got canceled and the entire pay-per-view date was shifted from 18th April to 9th May.

Ferguson could have decided to wait for the fight to be rescheduled. However, he chose to stay on the card and fight Justin Gaethje for yet another interim championship.

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: Tony Ferguson interacts with media during the UFC 249 press conference at T-Mobile Arena on March 06, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

To top that off, Ferguson decided to cut weight on the previously set date of the weigh-in for his fight against Khabib. He made championship weight for the lightweight division.

He was forced to cut weight yet again barely 2 weeks down the line in a bid to make the lightweight limit for his fight against Gaethje.

Weight cuts take a huge toll on the body of a fighter and Ferguson decided to do that twice in a span of 3 weeks prior to fighting a killer like Gaethje. He cut 24 pounds in 6 days the first time and also in the second time.

Did cutting weight twice affect Tony Ferguson?

Ferguson was always second to the punch during his fight against Gaethje. Gaethje was always getting the better of their exchanges.

One might argue that he was slower than his usual self. Also, he didn’t look anywhere near as creative as he usually does in fights. It was almost like something was off about Ferguson.

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One might argue he damaged himself by going through the extremely gruesome procedure of cutting weight twice in such a short span of time. And that eventually deprived the fans of seeing him fight ‘The Eagle‘.

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Apratim Banerjee

869 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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