UFC: ‘Pissed’ Tony Ferguson isn’t going anywhere

Tony Ferguson, UFC

This past Saturday at UFC 262, Tony Ferguson (25-6) met Beneil Dariush (21-4-1) in the co-main event of the evening. The former interim lightweight champion was looking to snap his two-fight losing streak.

Prior to UFC 262, El Cucuy looked like he was back to training the way he did during his 12-fight win streak. Ferguson was embracing the process and looked like he was ready to make a statement.

However, Saturday night didn’t go according to plan. Ferguson could never get started and was steamrolled by Beneil Dariush at UFC 262. Dariush used his superior grappling to get Ferguson to the ground and hold him there for three rounds.

The judges gave a clean sweep to Dariush on the scorecards. The loss meant that the former UFC interim champion had suffered three consecutive lopsided defeats inside the octagon.

Many pundits were wondering if Ferguson would walk away after UFC 262. Well, the former champion had a message on Twitter to the world about his fighting future.

Ferguson’s UFC Future

This fight at UFC 262 was another blow to Tony Ferguson. However, it’s important to keep something in perspective when thinking about this losing streak. His losses have come against three of the top four lightweights in the world according to the rankings.

It’s not like Ferguson has been losing to scrubs. Now, are Tony Ferguson’s days as a top lightweight in the UFC done? Perhaps those days of being a title contender are truly behind El Cucuy.

That said, I don’t believe that Ferguson’s career is over and neither does he. I do believe that he needs a step back and he needs to fight someone lower in the rankings. This week I wrote that the UFC should pair him with someone like Diego Ferreira. 

El Cucuy needs a reset to really see where he’s at in his UFC career. The promotion needs to do him a solid and give him someone more manageable. That said, if he loses his next fight in dominating fashion, it could be the of the road for the former interim champion.

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.

After his TKO loss at UFC Vegas 26, what’s next for Diego Ferreira?

Entering 2021, one of the hottest names in the UFC‘s lightweight division was Diego Ferreira (17-4). Ferreira entered the year having won six fights in a row including a finish over former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.

In his career, Ferreira had only been defeated by Dustin Poirier and Beneil Dariush. That alone showed people just how good Ferreira was. Back in February, he had his first UFC appearance of the year.

He took on Beneil Dariush in a rematch. Unfortunately for Ferreira, their second fight went a lot like their first. Dariush was able to get the better of the grappling and ended up winning a decision.

Ferreira wanted to get right back in there and the promotion offered him a spot at UFC Vegas 26. He was offered a fight against Gregor Gillespie (14-1) in a big matchup of top fifteen contenders.

Ferreira took the fight and in the first round on Saturday, he looked very good. He was able to hurt Gillespie and get the better of some of the exchanges. However, by the second round, Gillespie started to break him.

One thing leading into last weekend is the fact that Ferreira missed weight by over four pounds. A horrific miss heading into UFC Vegas 26. Ultimately in the second round, Gillespie got the TKO victory. So Ferreira had to give up 30% of his purse and he suffered a TKO loss.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 26?

As mentioned, Ferreira rode into the year on the highest of highs. Had he defeated Dariush in February, he could’ve been in the co-headlining spot against Tony Ferguson this weekend at UFC 262.

Instead, Ferreira has lost two in a row and now he’s on the verge of falling out of the UFC’s top fifteen. With that, what should the promotion do with him next? Well for that, I look to UFC 263.

At UFC 263, there’s a lightweight contest between Drew Dober (23-10) and Brad Riddell (9-1). I think a fight with Ferreira and either the winner or the loser makes a lot of sense given their status in the division.

Another fight that could make sense for Ferreira is a matchup with Al Iaquinta (14-6-1). Iaquinta hasn’t fought since 2019, but he’s in a similar spot as Ferreira. Perhaps that’s a matchup the UFC could look at next.

After big TKO win at UFC Vegas 26, what’s next for Gregor Gillespie?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 26, Gregor Gillespie (14-1) made his return after an extensive layoff. Gillespie hadn’t fought since the night of the BMF title fight which took place in November of 2019.

It didn’t appear that there were injuries that Gillespie was dealing with, but he spent some time outside of the cage to improve. At UFC Vegas 26, he had a tough test in front of him in Diego Ferreira (17-4).

Ferreira had only lost to Beneil Dariush and Dustin Poirier in his career. In his last appearances, Ferreira lost to Dariush for the second time so you knew that he was hungry coming into UFC Vegas 26.

One thing about this fight was the weight. Ferreira came in over four pounds over the lightweight limit. Gillespie earned 30% of his purse for accepting the fight and he wasn’t about to let the extra weight get in the way of his UFC return.

The first round was a very good round. There were a lot of scrambles and Ferreira had some success landing big shots on Gillespie. At times, it didn’t look great for the return of Gregor Gillespie.

However, Gillespie was able to turn the fight around in the second round. Gillespie used his pace and his grappling to get in a dominant position and he got the TKO victory over Diego Ferreira at UFC Vegas 26.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 26?

With that victory on Saturday, Gillespie is now 7-1 in the UFC with six of his wins coming by finish. He’s now ranked 12th in the lightweight division. Now that he’s made his successful return, what’s next for Gillespie.

Well, I think the UFC should put him up against the guy directly in front of him in the rankings. That lightweight contender is Islam Makhachev (19-1). Makhachev has won seven fights in a row and looks like a future lightweight champion.

He’s 8-1 in the UFC with four finishes. Both of these men are elite grapplers and both are looking to take that next step towards title contention. A matchup between the two would give us that contender.

UFC Vegas 26 Preview: Gregor Gillespie – Diego Ferreira

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC Vegas 26, we will see a lightweight showdown between two top 15 contenders. Diego Ferreira (17-3) will look to bounce back as he takes on ‘The Gift’ Gregor Gillespie (13-1).

One thing to note about this contest tomorrow is the fact that Ferreira missed weight. The fighters took to the scales today and Ferreira missed weight badly coming in at 160.5 pounds. 4.5 pounds over the lightweight limit.

The UFC announced that Ferreira would be giving up 30% of his purse and the fight goes on. The last time we saw Ferreira was in February when he took on Beneil Dariush. It was the second time the two men had faced off in the UFC and Dariush won both times.

That loss for Ferreira snapped a six-fight win streak. Prior to that, Ferreira had defeated former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis in early 2020. The only two men to defeat Ferreira in his career is Dariush and top contender Dustin Poirier.

Gregor Gillespie is looking to join that list tomorrow night. This is the first time that we are seeing Gillespie in the UFC since his knockout loss to Kevin Lee that took place at UFC 244 in 2019.

Prior to that loss, Gillespie had dominated every opponent he faced inside the octagon. Gillespie is one of the best pure wrestlers in the lightweight division and he’s going to try and use that tomorrow night.

UFC Vegas 26 Prediction

The missed weight for Diego Ferreira adds in a new aspect to this matchup at UFC Vegas 26. You had to know going into this fight that Gillespie is going to look to push the pace early and engage in the grappling.

That’s what Beneil Dariush did and it worked well against Ferreira. I believe that Gillespie has improved striking, but there’s no questioning as to where he wants this fight to take place. Now, Ferreira does have very good submissions as seven of his career wins have come via submission.

However, I’m not sure how he’ll do if he’s on the bottom against someone like Gillespie. The hard weight cut and the pressure from Gillespie might be too much at UFC Vegas 26. If Ferreira wins tomorrow, I think it’s because he pulls off a submission from his back.

I think Gregor Gillespie is going to get this fight to the mat. His wrestling and strength is just too good and I expect him to land takedowns. How Ferreira responds will be the key. He almost locked up Dariush a few times, and he can catch Gillespie if he’s sloppy. However, I don’t see it happening.

Prediction: Gregor Gillespie by Unanimous Decision

UFC books Gregor Gillespie – Diego Ferreira

The UFC has finalized a matchup between two top fifteen lightweights. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report that the promotion was finalizing a matchup between Gregor Gillespie (13-1) and Diego Ferreira (17-3).

The matchup will take place in a few weeks at a UFC Fight Night on May 8th. For Gillespie, this will be his first matchup since November of 2019. Gillespie was supposed to fight a couple of weeks ago, however, due to COVID issues with the opposing corner, the fight was called off.

Gillespie wanted to get rebooked as soon as possible given how long he’s been off. The UFC went to work and found Gillespie a top fifteen opponent in Diego Ferreira.

The last time we saw Gillespie was at UFC 244 when he took on Kevin Lee. That fight was a big step up for Gillespie and it was looked at as his first big challenge inside the octagon. Gillespie had a perfect 13-0 record overall including six wins inside the octagon heading into that matchup.

Of course, we all have seen how that fight turned out. Kevin Lee scored a highlight reel knockout over Gillespie at UFC 244. Gillespie is itching to get back on track towards the top ten and Diego Ferreira is a great place to start.

UFC bounce back for Ferreira

Quietly, Diego Ferreira has been one of the better lightweights in the UFC since he made his debut back in 2014. Since he made his debut, Ferreira has gone 7-3 inside the octagon.

However, the three losses came to Beneil Darius (twice) and Dustin Poirier. The last time we saw Ferreira was back in February when he had his rematch with Beneil Dariush.

Dariush was able to use his superior grappling to pickup the decision win. The loss snapped a six-fight win streak in the UFC for Ferreira. Ferreira went into that matchup coming off of a submission over former UFC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis.

This is a fantastic addition to the card on May 8th. Both of these lightweight contenders need a bounce back win. Whoever walks out of the cage with their hand raised is likely looking at a fringe top ten opponent next.

What’s next for Beneil Dariush after UFC Vegas 18?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 18, Beneil Dariush (20-4-1) took on Diego Ferreira (17-3) for the second time. The two had previously met back in 2014 and Dariush handed Ferreira his first career loss at UFC 179.

Both men were carrying in five-plus fight winning streaks into Saturday night. Ferreira has improved so much from their first matchup, but there were a lot of questions around his inactivity and if he could deal with Dariush’s style.

The fight on Saturday was very similar to their matchup at UFC 179. Dariush was able to land several takedowns and control the majority of the fight on the ground. However, there were some spots where Ferreira did have some success.

Nevertheless, at the end of the day, Dariush walked away with the split decision. Although, I don’t think anyone outside of those judges believes that this fight at UFC Vegas 18 was all that close. Dariush picked up his sixth straight victory on Saturday night.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 18?

After the fight was over, Dariush made it clear that he wants someone in the UFC’s top five. Originally, Dariush was supposed to fight Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC) in October. However, Oliveira had to pull out of that matchup.

Dariush expressed his frustrations with Oliveira last week. While he’s likely not going to face Oliveira next, there are some top contenders out there for Beneil Dariush. Dariush is now ranked ninth in the lightweight division. 

A couple of options for Dariush are the two guys right in front of him. Dan Hooker (20-10) and Rafael Dos Anjos (30-13) both need opponents. In an ideal world, Dariush would get to face the former UFC lightweight champion, Dos Anjos, next.

However, Dan Hooker might be the more logical opponent. Hooker is coming off of back-to-back losses, but he’s got the name recognition that Dariush needs. Dariush needs a win in the UFC over someone with pop in their name. Pickup a win over Hooker and he’ll get a bump.

Another potential name could be Tony Ferguson (25-5), however, I don’t see that one happening either. No matter what, Dariush needs an opponent ranked above him next. He deserves that opportunity.

What’s next for Diego Ferreira after UFC Vegas 18 loss?

One of the more intriguing matchups this past weekend at UFC Vegas 18 was the lightweight battle between Diego Ferreira (17-3) and Beneil Dariush (20-4-1). Both men carried winning streaks into the cage of at least five on Saturday night.

These two had previously met back at UFC 179 in 2014. That night, Dariush was able to pickup the unanimous decision victory. After that initial fight, Ferreira would go on to lose to Dustin Poirier.

However, after that loss to Poirier, Ferreira won six straight fights heading into Saturday’s rematch. That winning streak found him ranked tenth in the UFC‘s lightweight rankings. A lot of money was coming in on Ferreira prior to Saturday night.

However, the fight would go very similarly to the first matchup. While Ferreira did have some success in the fight, he was mainly neutralized by Beneil Dariush. Dariush used his superior grappling to get timely takedowns which bagged him the rounds that he needed.

After three rounds, the two went to the scorecards at UFC Vegas 18. While it seemed clear to most that Dariush won the fight, the judges were split. However, ultimately the right call was made and Dariush picked up his second victory over Diego Ferreira.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 18?

As mentioned, this loss at UFC Vegas 18 snapped a six-fight win streak for Diego Ferreira. Despite the winning streak, there had been one knock on Ferreira over the last six years and that was his activity level.

Ferreira’s loss to Dustin Poirier came back in 2015. Since the start of 2016, Ferreira has only competed in the UFC seven times which means he’s barely averaging more than one fight per year. Ferreira has dealt with injuries, but he needs to become more active.

He just turned 36 years old and if he has any title aspirations in the UFC’s lightweight division, he needs to get more active. From here, the promotion has a couple of options, but I believe they’ll match him up with someone in the top 15.

Two options for Ferreira would be Kevin Lee (18-6) and Gregor Gillespie (13-1). Both of these contenders rank outside the top ten, but they are still in the top 15. Both are also coming off of losses just like Ferreira. I believe the UFC could matchup Ferreira with either of these contenders and it’d make for a great fight.

Beneil Dariush makes it 2-0 over Diego Ferreira at UFC Vegas 18

After kicking off 2021 in Fight Island, the UFC returned to their home APEX tonight for their 18th fight night. The second fight on the main card was a lightweight showdown and a rematch between Beneil Dariush (19-4-1) and Diego Ferreira (17-2).

The two men previously fought back in 2014 at UFC 179. That night, Dariush was able to walk away with a unanimous decision victory. Diego Ferreira is so much better than he was at UFC 179, but has he done enough to surpass Dariush?

Ferreira was riding a six-fight win streak heading into UFC Vegas 18. Only Dariush and Dustin Poirier have been able to defeat Ferreira. Meanwhile, he has wins over the likes of Anthony Pettis and Mairbek Taisumov.

Much like Diego Ferreira, Dariush also carried a winning streak into UFC Vegas 18. Dariush had won five fights in a row and he’s finished four straight opponents. Both men were looking to take that next step towards the lightweight elites this evening.

UFC Vegas 18 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 18 lightweight contest kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Ferreira got the striking stared with a body kick and Dariush threw a leg kick of his own. Dariush pushed forward and landed a solid 1-2 on Ferreira.

A minute into the round and Dariush shot in for a takedown. Ferreira defended well but let the fight go to the ground while he looked for a submission. After that didn’t work, the fight went back to the feet.

Both men were just standing in the pocket and trading. Dariush landed a massive knee to the body that buckled Ferreira. Ferreira folded and Dariush ended up on top, but he wasn’t able to get the finish.

Dariush settled into Ferreira’s guard with two minutes left in the round. Big shots were landed in the guard from Dariush. Ferreira was able to get to his feet with 30 seconds left in the round. He landed a massive right that wobbled Dariush, but it’s 1-0 Dariush at UFC Vegas 18.

Round 2

The second round at UFC Vegas 18 started with another touch of the gloves. Immediately both men started throwing heat. Dariush was heavy with the pressure in the opening minute of the round.

Ferreira was getting off better to start round two. Dariush shot in for a takedown, but Ferreira initially defended well. However, when they got along the fence, Dariush landed the takedown and got on top.

Ferreira tried to get up, however, Dariush was doing a good job of controlling him on the ground. Halfway through the round and Ferreira worked his way up, but he couldn’t get off the fence. Two minutes left in the round and Ferreira was able to separate.

However, Dariush immediately shot in and landed another takedown. This time, Ferreira was able to get right back up. After a brief exchange, Dariush landed another takedown. Dariush controlled Ferreira the rest of the round and it should be 2-0 Dariush at UFC Vegas 18.

Round 3

Heading into the final round at UFC Vegas 18 and Ferreira looked like he needed a finish. Ferreira did appear to be the fresher fighter entering the final round. He opened the striking with a couple of crisp shots up top.

Dariush was trying to keep Ferreira at range with his jab. One minute in and Dariush shot in for a takedown, but couldn’t get it. Once they were back striking, Dariush threw a body kick, but it landed low which paused the action.

Dariush was breathing heavy as the action resumed. However, he threw a couple of strong kicks once they were striking. Ferreira defended another takedown attempt well and the two kept striking. Dariush landed a massive left that snapped Ferreira’s head back.

However, Ferreira seemed to be getting the better of the striking. Ferreira kept looking for his 1-2 but he couldn’t find his power shots. Dariush looked gassed entering the final minute. However, he shot in deep for a takedown and landed it.

Dariush was able to get Ferreira’s back once the two men were on the ground. However, Ferreira was able to get back to his feet just before the round ended. Razor thin final round that I lean towards Ferreira. However, I think Dariush gets the nod at UFC Vegas 18.

Beneil Dariush def. Diego Ferreira by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

UFC Vegas 18 Preview: Diego Ferreira – Beneil Dariush

Kicking off the main card of UFC Vegas 18 is a banger in the lightweight division. Top 15 lightweights will battle it out in a rematch as Diego Ferreira (17-2) takes on Beneil Dariush (19-4-1).

The two of these men originally fought back at UFC 179 in 2014. That night, Dariush was able to pickup the unanimous decision. Dariush will carry a five-fight win streak into UFC Vegas 18.

It’s not just that Dariush has won five in a row, but it’s the fact that he’s finished four of those fights that’s been impressive. Dariush is one of the most underrated lightweights in the UFC.

The division is so stacked that people often forget about him. However, he’s banging on the door of the top ten and he has a good matchup in front of him to get him through that door. However, Diego Ferreira is not the same guy he was almost seven years ago when they first fought.

Like Dariush, Ferreira will also carry a win streak into UFC Vegas 18. However, Ferreira has won six in a row. Ferreira’s first career loss came against Dariush. After that fight, he was knocked out by Dustin Poirier. However, he hasn’t lost since then.

The win streak that Ferreira is on has been incredibly impressive. He’s defeated the likes of Anthony Pettis, Rustam Khabilov, and Mairbek Taisumov. Ferreira is so much better than he was when they first fought, but has he closed the gap enough since UFC 179?

UFC Vegas 18 Prediction

The odds for this lightweight matchup at UFC Vegas 18 are essentially a toss-up and for good reasons. Both of these lightweight contenders are carrying in a ton of momentum and both are incredibly talented.

When looking at the two of them, I believe that Dariush has more advantages. Ferreira has looked sensational in his last few fights, however, I’m not sure he has the striking style to beat Beneil Dariush.

Dariush is very good with striking from range and he carries a ton of power in his hands. Ferreira is more of a volume guy and he’s very square when he closes the distance which could be a problem against a guy like Beneil Dariush.

Another problem Ferreira is going to have is in the grappling. We’ve seen his pressure-like style chained together with his grappling frustrate opponents. However, that’s not going to be as effective in a fight against the better grappler in Dariush.

When these two meet at UFC Vegas 18. I see Dariush getting his hand raised. Overall, he’s the better striker and he showed in the first fight that he can out-grapple Ferreira. I believe he will still hold those advantages and I actually believe we will see a fifth straight Dariush finish tomorrow night.

Prediction: Beneil Dariush by TKO – Round 3