How Tony Ferguson is still standing after his five-round beat down by Justin Gaethje in the UFC 249 main event is a mystery to just about everyone who tuned in to watch last night.
Ferguson was beaten black and blue but the former interim lightweight champion never quit. Referee Herb Dean was forced to stop the fight in the fifth round but ‘El Cucuy’ never fell down.
White said at the UFC 249 post-fight media scrum that Ferguson looked a little off and slower than usual but credited the fan favorite for his outrageous display of toughness and heart against one of the most violent punchers in the lightweight division.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Gaethje, because he fought an incredible fight,” White said, per MMA Fighting. “But I thought Tony looked off tonight. I thought he looked slow, and I would have to imagine that cutting weight twice in a month will affect you. So I don’t know if that’s it or what.”
“The guy isn’t human. He’s got a chin. Nobody takes Gaethje’s punches like that – nobody I’ve seen since I’ve been watching Gaethje fight. But this kid did.”
White claims UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell complained that the fight was stopped too early but White, if anything, believes the bout could have been stopped sooner.
“Chuck Liddell is blowing me up saying that was a horrible stoppage, and that’s crazy,” White said. “I think the fight could have been stopped a little sooner.
“Tony took a lot of damage tonight. Not only did he take a lot of damage, he took damage from a guy who f*cking hits like a truck, a guy who hits very hard, and usually knocks people unconscious when he hits people. So I actually think the stoppage was great, and I think it could have been stopped sooner.”
Gaethje beat Ferguson to win the interim lightweight title and will go on to face undefeated champ Khabib Nurmagomedov in a title unification bout later this year.