New York Giants: Logan Ryan leads DBs in Tampa training

New York Giants, Logan Ryan

This will be another strange offseason for everyone. The NFL is still affected by COVID-19 and earlier in the year, the New York Giants joined the teams that would skip voluntary workouts due to the risk of the pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean that training is going to come to a complete halt leading up to the season.

While the team’s rookies and free agent tryouts performed at rookie mini-camp, safety Logan Ryan was making sure that the secondary also got in some practice. In this case, the location happened to be somewhere warmer than East Rutherford: Tampa.

Upgrades to the secondary for 2021

It’s important that the Giants secondary gets some experience early on working together because it’s going to be a different group this season. The biggest addition, obviously, is Adoree’ Jackson. With the addition, the Giants finally have a number two cornerback that they can be proud of and he’ll join existing corner James Bradberry, who already had a reputation from last season for locking up the other team’s best weapons.

The Giants will also have last year’s draft pick Xavier McKinney around from the start in 2021, assuming he can avoid picking up another injury in the offseason. While McKinney showed promise, he was only able to get on the field last year by the time things were already headed downhill.

The position group has further depth than it did in previous seasons, too – Jackson is not the only Titan to join them. They also picked up his former teammate from Tennessee, Joshua Kalu, after he finished with a career high 16 tackles.

Players don’t always adapt right away to having new teammates, so it’s good to see the Giants secondary working out as a group already. It may pay dividends later, if it helps the Giants and the secondary specifically avoid another slow start with a number of early season losses.

New York Yankees Recap: Gerrit Cole only lasts 5.1 innings in Yankee loss to the Rangers

yankees, gerrit cole

Tonight the New York Yankees met up with the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, in game one of the 4 game set. New York Yankee ace Gerrit Cole took the mound for the Yankees facing the Rangers Jordan Lyle. The Yankees were coming off a seven-series win in a row and hoped to capture this series as well. Four-game series are difficult to win, and they will have to do it without Giancarlo Stanton, Glyber Torres, and Aaron Hick, who were all on the IL.

In the first inning, Lyle faced the Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu, who singled to the middle. Luke Voit also singled. Aaron Judge struck out. Gio Urshela singled, and Lemahieu scored on the hit. Gary Sanchez rapped into a double play to end the half, but the Yankee picked up a run for the early lead. At the bottom, Willie Calhoun led off against Cole; he led off with a double to right. Nick Solak struck out. Nate Lowe struck out, which is the tie for the most strikeouts without a walk. Joey Gallo stuck out for three in a row and a new major league record.

At the top of the second, Brett Gardner led off by singling. Clint Frazier went down on strikes. Kyle Higashioka hit into a double play to end the half. Adolis Garcia led off the bottom by homering to tie up the game at 1 apiece. David Dahl doubled to right-center. Kiner-falefa doubled driving in Dahl for the Rangers early lead. Charlie Culberson ground out. Kiner-Falefa stole third. Jose Trevino singled driving in Kiner-Falefa. Calhoun struck out. Solak, with two outs, flew out to Aaron Judge to end the inning. Texas Ranger 3 Yankees 1.

Going to the third inning, Tyler Wade led off by grounding out to the first base. LeMahieu singled for his 93rd multi-hit game. Luke Voit went down swinging. Aaron Judge ground out to short to end the half. Nate Lowe started the bottom by striking out. Joey Gallo reached on a passed ball. Higgy had another ball get by him, and Gallo reached second. Garcia flew out to Judge in right. Dahl struck out to end the inning. Rangers 3 Yankees 1.

At the top of the fourth inning, Gio Urshela started by flying out to right field. Gary Sanchez hit back to the pitcher for the second out. Brett Gardner had a two-out triple for the first Yankee triple of the season. Clint Frazier with two outs and Gardner at third struck out, stranding Gardner. At the bottom, Kiner-Falefa flew out to Judge. Culberson also flew out to Judge. Jose Trevino went down looking for a 1-2-3 inning for Cole. Texas Rangers 3 New York Yankees 1.

At the top of the fifth, Higasioka lined out. Tyler Wade ground out to first. LeMahieu lined out to third for a very short half for the Yankees. At the bottom Cole face the top of the lineup in Willie Calhoun, who homered over the reach of Brett Gardner. Solak flew out to center. Lowe walked for the second walk in the game. Gallo hit into a double play to end the inning. Rangers 4 Yankees 1.

Luke Voit led off the top of the sixth inning, striking out. Aaron Judge followed by walking. Gio Urshela struck out. Gary Sanchez ground out to second to end the half. The bottom was led off by Garcia, who faced Cole with 86 pitches and singled to left field. The lead-off single ended Cole’s night, replaced by Albert Abreu. Dahl lined out to center. Kiner-Falefa chopped out to third. Garcia moved to second. On a passed ball, he moved to third base. Culberson walked. Culberson tried to steal second, and Higashioka threw the ball past DJ with Garcia scoring. Trevino ground out to end the inning. Rangers 5 Yankees 1.

At the top of the seventh, Gardner popped out. Frazier ground out, and Higashiola flew out to center. At the bottom, Calhoun popped out to Wade. Solak went down on strikes. Lowe struck out for a quick inning for Abreu. Rangers 5 Yankees 1.

Tyler Wade led off the eighth inning by flying out to right field. LeMahieu faced the new pitcher Josh Sborz and flew out to far-right. Luke Voit homered into the second deck of left field. Judge lined out, but the Yankees picked up a run. At the bottom, Gallo led off and walked. Garcia went down on strikes. Dahl struck out. Kiner-Falefa flew out to Frazier to end the inning. Rangers 5 Yankees 2.

With last licks on the line for the Yankees, Gio Urshela ground out. Gary Sanchez struck out. Brett Gardner flew out to left field to end the game. The final score was the Texas Rangers 5, the New York Yankees 2. The winning pitcher was Jordan Lyles; the loser was Gerrit Cole, former Yankee Ian Kennedy got his 11th save of the season.

 

 

 

 

 

Mets Survive and Win 3-1 Despite Losing Walker and Pillar

The New York Mets injury bug has become as contagious as COVID-19 as both Taijuan Walker, and Kevin Pillar left with injuries. Despite the losses, the Mets still managed to take game one over the Atlanta Braves by a score of 3-1. The win also allowed the Mets to keep their spot in first place in the NL East.

It seems every win will involve the Mets to search their active roster for help at this point in the season.  Walker pitched three shutout innings before leaving with tightness in his left side. Sean Reid-Foley cleaned up the mess by delivering three perfect innings, making it seem like Walker never left the game. The strong outing set the table for Jeurys Familia, Trevor May, and Edwin Diaz to shut the door on the win.

Bench Mob

After the top three hitters of Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, and Dominic Smith, the bench mob dominated the rest of the lineup. They had plenty of trouble solving Max Fried, who was able to keep the Mets quiet for the first six innings of his start. In the seventh, Fried left the game with a hand cramp after Tomas Nido‘s leadoff double. It gave the Mets their opportunity to get on the board as they loaded the bases against Jacob Webb.

Webb had himself an inning he would like to forget. Webb allowed a double to James McCann to give the Mets a 1-0 lead, then ended up loading the bases for Kevin Pillar. Unfortunately, Pillar got an RBI in the worst way possible by taking a fastball from Webb right on the bridge of his nose. Blood immediately spewed from Pillar’s nose, and he was forced to leave the game. Khalil Lee replaced Pillar in the outfield and joined fellow rookie Johneshwy Fargas out there. Fargas ended up leaving his mark on the game by recording an RBI double as his first major league hit.

The win was another example of the Mets’ ability to play through adversity. They came off a sweep, lost their starting pitcher after three innings, watched Pillar get hit in the face but still managed to find a way to win. Throughout all of the injuries, they still have themselves in first place with a chance to get to 20 wins on Tuesday. Speaking of Tuesday, both teams will rely heavily on their bullpen. The Mets will have a bullpen game while the Braves turn to Tucker Davidson to make his second career start.

New York Giants: Andrew Thomas named team’s most underrated player by Pro Football Focus

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

The New York Giants made it a priority to address the offensive line last year during the 2020 NFL Draft. With the fourth overall pick in the first round, the Giants selected Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas. The team then addressed the unit again in rounds three and five.

Andrew Thomas was the first of six offensive tackles taken in the first round of the draft. However, he did not necessarily play like the first and best offensive tackle taken in last year’s draft class. Thomas struggled in his rookie season and was outplayed by other first-round tackles, such as Tristan Wirfs and Jedrick Wills.

However, it was not all bad for Andrew Thomas in his rookie season. The Georgia product did have plenty of positive moments and flashed great potential. Pro Football Focus recognized this potential and named Andrew Thomas the most underrated player on the New York Giants entering 2021.

What makes Andrew Thomas an underrated player?

Andrew Thomas allowed three or more pressures in eight of the Giants’ first eight games in 2020 (PFF). He struggled significantly in pass protection despite being a collegiate prospect that had not allowed two or more pressures in a game since 2017. Thomas also allowed the most pressures of any offensive tackle in the NFL last season with a total of 57 pressures allowed (PFF).

It was a tough year for Andrew Thomas in pass protection. However, his struggles in the passing game were not as prominent in the second half of the season. After allowing three or more pressures in eight of the Giants’ first eight games in 2020, Andrew Thomas allowed three or more pressures in only three of the Giants’ last eight games (PFF).

Andrew Thomas earned just one PFF pass-blocking grade below 59.0 over the second half of the season, whereas every single outing before Week 8 fell below that mark. Outside of one disastrous game against Arizona, his pass-blocking grade was above 70.0 from Week 8 onwards (PFF).

The Giants saw their first-round pick struggle in the first half of the 2020 season. However, Andrew Thomas really turned it around and changed trajectory in the second half of the year. He improved drastically and established himself as one of the better players that the Giants had on offense. Thomas also played the 2020 season injured, having ankle surgery at year’s end. Pro Football Focus is right to argue that Thomas is an underrated player. Andrew Thomas should continue to build on a strong finish to his rookie season and break out as a quality left tackle during a healthy 2021 sophomore season.

New York Yankees receive bad injury news: Giancarlo Stanton, Zack Britton

New York Yankees, Zack BRitton

The New York Yankees have been playing far more efficient baseball as of late, despite falling to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon. While the team has experienced better offensive performances, the Yankees have been inconsistent in a few areas. Injuries have taken their toll at times, as slugger Giancarlo Stanton is the latest to go down with a quad strain.

Relief pitcher Zach Britton is also fighting his way back to the team but suffered a setback on Monday during a simulated game.

Two injuries the Yankees are now dealing with:

Zack Britton injury update:

“General soreness,” Boone said. “It could be related to just the normal ramp up of going into a sim game and facing hitters.”

Britton was preparing for his first outing on Tuesday night in Double-A Somerset, but he will likely have to wait a few more days to take that next step in his progression. After experiencing surgery to remove a bone chip from his throwing elbow on March 15, Zack has been slowly rehabilitating.

Giancarlo Stanton injury update:

The Yankees placed Giancarlo Stanton on the 10-day injured list, but who really knows how long he will be out with a quad strain. Injuries in the past have kept Stanton out far longer than anticipated, and after starting the year hitting .282 with nine home runs, he will be missed in the lineup.
He was hosting his lowest strikeout rate since 2017 at 27.8% and slugging .534, his highest since his final season with the Miami Marlins. While Stanton no longer plays defense for the Bombers, it is unfortunate he continues to pick up injuries as the DH.

The New York Yankees now have 3 regular players on the IL

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

The New York Yankees‘ bad luck is building up going into a four-game series with the Texas Rangers. The Yankees have been mostly unscathed with major injuries to start this season comparing to the last two years, but with today’s news, that is quickly changing. This afternoon the Yankees announced that another regular player was going on the IL, that being Yankee DH Giancarlo Stanton, with a quad strain.

This string of bad luck started last week when seven Yankee staff members tested positive for the Covid 19 virus. That spread to eight when the first Yankee player, Gleyber Torres, also tested positive for the virus. And just today, that number increased to nine Yankees, another on the support staff.

While Torres is on the Covid list, he is being replaced at short with Gio Urshela and Tyler Wade. Torres and the first seven are being quarantined in the team hotel or their homes in the Tampa area. The latest addition is quarantined in Baltimore.

The injuries mounted when centerfielder Aaron Hicks tore a tendon in his wrist. Hicks is on his way back to New York today to visit the Yankees team doctor Christopher S. Ahmad, who practices out of New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital. Hicks was diagnosed with a rupturing of the protective covering of the left wrist tendon called the sheath.

At first, it was thought that he just might need rest, a cortisone shot, or the injury would require surgery. On Saturday, Hicks took swings from both sides of the plate, and it was decided to put him on the 10 day IL. Hicks has been replaced in center field by Brett Gardner and Ryan LaMarre, who was called up from Scranton Wilkes/Barre.

Today the New York Yankees placed DH Giancarlo Stanton on the 10 IL retroactive to Friday, with a left quadriceps strain. It was originally thought that a few days of rest might resolve the issue, and up to yesterday, he thought he would be available to play in the Texas Rangers series. Still, with today’s announcement, that will not be possible.

The loss of Giancarlo Stanton, even for 10 days, is a big blow to the Yankees; he has been the Yankees’ best player since the beginning of the season, and at times carrying the team on his back when hitters were not hitting. To date, he has batted .282 with nine homers and 24 RBIs in 33 games this season. The Yankees could have called up home run hitting Chris Gettin but instead choose to bolster the pitching department with the additions of Albert Abreu.

In addition to these new injuries, the Yankees have been waiting for the return of pitcher Luis Severino who had Tommy John surgery in 2019, and reliever Zack Britton from bone chip removal. Prospect Clarke Schmidt, flexor strain. Backup catcher Robinson Chirinos and a few other backup players.

 

 

New York Jets announce new batch of jersey numbers

The New York Jets’ draft and free agency classes all received their metropolitan numerals for the 2021 season.

The New York Jets’ free agency and draft classes received their official numbers for their first seasons in green on Monday. ESM looks at what the newcomers will be rocking once the season gets underway…

No. 23 Tevin Coleman

Coleman wore 26 in prior stops in Atlanta and San Francisco, but it’s probably best for the Jets to avoid rushers wearing No. 26 for a while after the Le’Veon Bell debacle.

Notable No. 23’s in Jets History: RB Shonn Greene, DB Shafer Suggs

No. 25 Brandin Echols

Echols, a sixth-round pick appears to be sharing No. 25 with rusher Ty Johnson, as the 26 he wore at Kentucky is taken by fellow defensive back Elijah Campbell.

Notable No. 25’s in Jets History: S Kerry Rhodes, RB Scott Dierking, S Calvin Pryor

No. 29 Lamarcus Joyner

Joyner will be wearing a number previously borne by fan-favorite rusher and returner Leon Washington, who’s now on the Jets’ coaching staff.

Notable No. 29’s in Jets History: WR Bake Turner, RB Bilal Powell, RB Adrian Murrell, RB Leon Washington, DB Donnie Abraham

No. 30 Michael Carter II

Another former bearer of 26, Carter takes over the 30 worn by Bradley McDougald last season. He’ll also have the Roman numeral “II” on the back of his jersey to separate himself from the offensive Michael Carter.

Notable No. 30’s in Jets History: RB Brad Baxter, DB LaRon Landry

No. 32 Michael Carter 

Running backs are allowed to wear single digits under the NFL’s new uniform mandates, but Carter opted to multiply it four. He follows in the footsteps of Super Bowl champion and green rusher Emerson Boozer.

Notable No. 32’s in Jets History: RB Emerson Boozer, RB Blair Thomas, RB Leon Johnson

No. 34 Justin Hardee

It’s a tough break for anyone who hoped the Jets would bring back Brian Poole, but the special teams standout Hardee will keep the number he had during his prior endeavors in New Orleans.

Notable No. 34’s in Jets History: RB Johnny Hector, RB LaMont Jordan

No. 41 Jason Pinnock

Pinnock’s No. 15 from Pittsburgh has been taken over by someone he’ll presumably cover come training camp, receiver Lawrence Cager. His new digits were worn by Matthias Farley last season and best known from a Jets standpoint as the numbers Matt Snell wore in the Super Bowl III triumph.

Notable No. 41’s in Jets History: RB Matt Snell, S Buster Skrine

No. 43 Del’Shawn Phillips 

Phillips wore No. 46 in his first season in Buffalo but moved on to 43 last season. He’ll apparently stick with those numerals as he moves on to another New York football journey.

Notable No. 43’s in Jets History: DB Michael Brim

No. 44 Jamien Sherwood 

With 44 last worn by the New England-bound Harvey Lagni, the defensive back-turned-linebacker Sherwood takes a traditional number as opposed to the single digits now available.

Notable No. 44’s in Jets History: RB John Riggins

No. 45 Hamsah Nasirildeen

Another converted secondary member who made the move to linebacker, Nasirildeen also makes the move to 45, as the 23 he wore at Florida State was taken by Coleman.

Notable No. 45’s in Jets History: DB Earlie Thomas, CB Otis Smith

No. 52 Jarrad Davis

The new Jets’ linebacker’s number from Detroit and his college days in Florida (40) is now worn by Javelin Guidry, but there’s a strong group of both linebackers and lineman that have previously repped his new digits.

Notable No. 52’s in Jets History: LB David Harris, C John Schmitt, C Mike Hudock, LB Pepper Johson 

No. 58 Carl Lawson

Lawson may be changing from tiger stripes to green and black, but he’ll be wearing a familiar number leftover from his Cincinnati days. 

Notable No. 58’s in Jets History: LB James Farrior

No. 65 Corey Levin

Levin is one of the newcomers on the Jets. If/when he takes the field in an NFL regular-season game for the first time since 2018, it’ll be in a different number, as he wore 62 during his time in Tennessee.

Notable No. 65’s in Jets History: OL Joe Fields, G Brandon Moore

No. 67 Dan Feeney

Undrafted rookie Teton Saltes has Feeny’s No. 66 from his days as a Charger, so he moved one up, perhaps indirectly emulating some other notable veteran blockers in Jets history.

Notable No. 67’s in Jets History: OL Dave Herman, T Kareem McKenzie, OL Damien Woody

No. 81 Tyler Kroft

In his return to New Jersey football, Kroft won’t have the No. 86 he wore at Rutgers (his Piscataway number now on fellow tight end Ryan Griffin) but he retains the number he’s worn in his first two NFL stops (Cincinnati and Buffalo) and it’s a number that has made a New York impact on both sides of the ball.

Notable No. 81’s in Jets History: DE Gerry Philbin, TE Dustin Keller

No. 84 Corey Davis

Davis will keep the number he wore at both Western Michigan and Tennessee. That’s rather appropriate, as the most famous wearer of 84 in his new team’s history is in fact a New York Titan.

Notable No. 84’s in Jets History: WR Art Powell

No. 88 Keelan Cole

With Davis taking over the No. 84, Cole’s moves four digits up to 88, emulating some of the more productive receivers in New York history.

Notable No. 88’s in Jets History: WR Al Toon, TE Rich Caster, TE Anthony Becht

No. 96 Jonathan Marshall

Henry Anderson’s old number wasn’t gone for long, as it’s been taken over by the former Arkansas captain who became the final pick of the Jets’ 2021 draft proceedings.

Notable No. 96’s in Jets History: DT Muhammad Wilkerson

No. 98 Sheldon Rankins

Undrafted standout Kyle Phillips wore No. 98 but he’s moving onto 93 to allow Rankins to keep the number he had during his six years in New Orleans.

Notable No. 98’s in Jets History: LB Anthony Pleasant, DL Kyle Phillips

No. 99 Vinny Curry

Curry has had a pretty accomplished NFL career, and he’s going to take over the numerals of some of the most storied defenders on the team.

Notable No. 99’s in Jets History: DE Mark Gastineau, DE Bryan Thomas, DT Steve McLendon, DE Hugh Douglas

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Jacob deGrom could return to the Mets as early as Friday

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets have been dealing with a lot of injuries in the last couple of weeks. Center fielder Brandon Nimmo had his rehab assignment cut short after experiencing renewed soreness in his ailing finger, JD Davis has been out with a hand issue, and Michael Conforto is also banged up. Carlos Carrasco is yet to return from a torn hamstring.

But perhaps the highest-profile name on the Mets’ injured list is Jacob deGrom. The star pitcher has been dealing with right side discomfort for a few days now and had to cut his last short after five innings, but things are starting to look up for him.

According to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, Mets manager Luis Rojas doesn’t want to look too far ahead, but believes that deGrom could rejoin the team as a starting pitcher as early as Friday against the Marlins.

Since this is a recurring issue with deGrom, the Mets are probably taking every caution and won’t bring him back unless he is completely pain-free and can stretch and pitch with no issues.

The Mets are still evaluating their options

As of now, the Mets haven’t ruled out sending the two-time Cy Young award winner on a rehab assignment for one or two turns, but Rojas said “he wants to make sure his ace is healthy before making the announcement official,” per Ladson.

The injured deGrom has remained active, and played light catch before Sunday’s game against the Rays at Tropicana Field. He will throw off a slope Monday and have a bullpen session Tuesday, important steps he needs to overcome with no problems.

“I want to get the feedback from him just to see how he feels,” Rojas said. “He has been doing his exercises. It has been a positive feedback each day. Tomorrow, he is going to touch and feel. It should be a step forward with the feedback that we want to hear from what was happening before he went on the IL.”

Mets Game Preview: (5/17/21) @ Atlanta Braves (19-21)

The bruised and battered New York Mets limp their way into Georgia to face the Atlanta Braves. They will play the first of three games in a series that the Mets need everyone to contribute. The first pitch from SunTrust Park is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Over the weekend, the Mets were swept by the Tampa Bay Rays and lost more players due to injuries. Hamstring injuries to both Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto have forced the Mets to dig even deeper into their minor leagues for replacements. Johneshwy Fargas will be one of the new comes to the roster as a corresponding move. With the tough losses over the weekend and the stockpile of injuries, their seven-game win streak seems like it happened months ago.

The Braves have started slow but are slowly inching their way back to the .500 mark. Over the weekend, they went on the road to take two of three games from the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Ronald Acuna has continued to put up MVP caliber numbers with a .300 average, 12 home runs, and six stolen bases. On the pitching side, Huascar Ynoa has stepped up with a 3.02 ERA in nine games this season.

Pitching Matchup

Taijuan Walker looks to repeat his success from his last start against the Baltimore Orioles, and the Mets need it. Walker pitched seven innings and held the Orioles to just one run on four hits. In seven starts, Walker has been terrific with a 2.20 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.

Max Fried pitches for the Braves and has been nowhere near his 2020 success. In five starts, Fried has a 6.55 ERA and has already doubled his home run total from last season. Ever since leaving the injured list, Fried has been better with two consecutive outings where he allowed one run.

Matchup To Lookout For

Max Fried vs. Pete Alonso: 1-for-12 (.083), Home Run, 3 Walks, 5 Strikeouts

After another loss at UFC 262, what’s next for Tony Ferguson?

Tony Ferguson, UFC

This past Saturday at UFC 262, former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson (25-6) was looking to snap his losing streak. After never having a losing streak in his entire career, Ferguson made the walk on Saturday night having lost two straight.

Standing in his way of snapping that losing streak was Beneil Dariush (21-4-1). Dariush was entering UFC 262 on a six-fight winning streak and he was looking to use El Cucuy as a stepping stone towards a top ranked opponent.

Ferguson appeared to have a great training camp for this fight. El Cucuy looked focused and he looked determined to get back in the win column. The big question was around whether or not that prep would translate to octagon performance.

From 2013 to 2019, Ferguson was untouchable in the UFC. He won a staggering 12 fights in a row in the toughest division in the promotion. He climbed to the top and became the interim lightweight champion.

However, he had been dominated in his last two fights. Ferguson was looking to prove he’s still one of the best at UFC 262. Well, unfortunately for El Cucuy, he suffered another dominating defeat.

From the opening bell, this fight was all Beneil Dariush. He even came close to making Ferguson tap by a heel hook in the first round. However, El Cucuy toughed his way through it and fought out the fight. When the scorecards were read at UFC 262, all three rounds went to Beneil Dariush.

What’s next after UFC 262?

Saturday night was a really tough night if you’re a fan of Tony Ferguson. As mentioned, for years, Ferguson was the boogey man of the UFC’s lightweight division. However, he looks like a shell of that guy right now.

Going back to the Justin Gaethje fight, he’s likely only won one round in his last eleven rounds inside the octagon. We just haven’t seen the same El Cucuy since his fight with Donald Cerrone at UFC 238.

Now, Ferguson has lost three in a row. With that, the UFC really needs to have him step back and fight someone either at the tail-end of the top fifteen or out of the rankings completely.

In my opinion, a great opponent for him would be Diego Ferreira (17-4). Ferreira entered 2021 on a long winning streak, but now he’s lost two fights in a row. At 36 years old, there are a lot of questions surrounding Ferreira’s future.

Ferreira is currently ranked 14th in the UFC’s lightweight division. This to me would be a good step back for Tony Ferguson while still giving him an opponent with a number. It’ll be interesting to see what the promotion decides, but this is the direction I would go in.