Steady on, Big John.
McCarthy cites Ferguson’s ‘adversarial relationship’ with the UFC, as well as recent subpar performances against Oliveira and Justin Gaethje, as the two main reasons the premiere fight promotion will consider axing ‘El Cucuy’ from its roster by the end of the year.
“I think they’re going to cut him,” McCarthy said on his Weighing In podcast with Josh Thomson (transcript via Abhinav Kini of The Body Lock). “I could be wrong about that but the reason I say it is first off, Tony has always had an adversarial relationship with certain people with the UFC. He’s felt like he’s been held back, cheated in certain things. And so you have that. That’s okay, you can say those things when you’re winning.
“But now you take a look at his last two performances — the Justin Gaethje fight, he fought his ass off but he got beat badly. And now this one, he got beat badly. So you look at your lightweights and you go, ‘alright, is Tony Ferguson going to be fighting for the title?’ That ain’t going to happen. You would figure he would have to win somewhere between four or five fights in a row against top talent and that’s probably not going to happen.
“So, he’s not going to fight for the title. So you’re going to keep him for what reasons now? So he can beat your young talent that’s not smart and wise enough to fight with him at this time? That’s not going to do you any good as a promotion. So I don’t know, I just look and say he might be one of the guys in that 60.”
Ferguson is currently on a two-fight skid but, prior to that, the 36-year-old racked up twelve-straight wins and was — and perhaps still is — considered one of the best lightweights and pound-for-pound fighters in the world. As of today, Ferguson is #4 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings.