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.