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Morning Report: Tony Ferguson on Charles Oliveira: ‘He was mentally broken in the first round’

Tony Ferguson Esther Lin, MMAFighting

This past Saturday, in the co-main event of UFC 256, Charles Oliveira defeated former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, winning a unanimous decision with scores of 30-26 across the board. It was a dominant performance from Oliveira, unless, of course, you’re Tony Ferguson.

In the immediate aftermath of the fight, Ferguson made “no excuses” for his performance but speaking on Instagram Live recently (video from MMA Crazy), Ferguson rejected the idea that he was dominated by Oliveira, arguing that he was frustrating Oliveira as the fight went on.

“We’re not gonna waste any energy here, and you guys shouldn’t either in jiu-jitsu matches,” Ferguson said. “Just be patient and wait for the opportunity for him to advance and get so lazy that in the third round he doesn’t even advance to mount anymore. What he does is he stays controlled into side position looking for something completely different, a different move because he was mentally broken in the first round.”

Ferguson may not like it, but the stats of their fight tell a different story. Aside from his 11 minutes and 39 seconds of control time in the 15-minute fight, Oliveira also out-landed Ferguson 41 to 19 in significant strakes, went 3 for 3 on his takedown attempts, and had three submission attempts, including an armbar at the end of the first round that had Joe Rogan questioning if he had broken Ferguson’s arm. But again, Ferguson believe the commentary team was painting a different picture than what was really happening.

“I went back and kind of watched film, and without the commentary and how all like, ‘Oh, you got dominated, this and that.’ Okay, to the untrained people in jiu-jitsu,” Ferguson said. “Advancing positions in traditional styles of martial arts, you will get points, advantages, and different types of points. But the judging and the contesting as far as the commission, I don’t even know if it’s there. I’m gonna be real, I don’t.”

Regardless of how Ferguson believes he did, 2020 has not been kind to him officially.”El Cucuy” now finds himself on the first losing streak of his career and, at 36 years old, well outside the lightweight title conversation. In fact, despite still being ranked fourth in the division, some people, most notably “Big” John McCarthy on the podcast he shares with Josh Thompson, suggested that Ferguson may be released from the UFC, given the organization’s recent approach to retaining aging talent on losing streaks. But Ferguson assured his fans that he’s not going anywhere.

“So a question for John McCarthy and The Punk, no I’m not getting f*cking cut,” Ferguson concluded. “Josh, come on dog, you got your ass kicked. Don’t start that sh*t. The fans love me. They want to see me fight again. And I love you guys too.”


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