Aside from being on the receiving end of one of the scariest knockouts in UFC history, Tony Ferguson had fun fighting Michael Chandler at UFC 274 this past Saturday.
Ferguson returned to the Octagon for the first time in nearly a year and was welcomed by Chandler, who abruptly ended their fight with a perfectly timed front kick to the jaw that slept the former UFC interim lightweight champion. He lay still on the canvas for several minutes before leaving under his own power and getting transported to a hospital.
‘El Cucuy’ was released from the hospital following a negative CT scan and responded to his second-round knockout loss to ‘Iron’ on social media. He congratulated Chandler and sent him well wishes for his next fight.
“Congratulations to [Michael Chandler] on his victory at UFC 274,” wrote Ferguson on Twitter. “Had lots of fun in there, you fans are f—kin’ wild. I love this s—t! Feels good to be back [and] hungry again. We were just getting started. Best of luck in your next fight, champ.”
Congratulations to @MikeChandlerMMA On his victory at UFC 274. Had lots of fun in there, you fans are Fuckin’ wild I love this shit! Feels good to be back & hungry again. We were just getting started. Best Of Luck In Your Next Fight- Champ # ForTheLoveOfTheGame -CSO- pic.twitter.com/cp6trgSPoX— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) May 9, 2022
UFC president Dana White confirmed that Ferguson would remain with the promotion regardless of what happened but urged the fighter to spend some time recovering after his loss to Chandler. White would give props to Ferguson, who he said ‘looked damn good’ in the first round where he scored an early knockdown.
“Everybody was asking me this week leading up to this fight, ‘Is this a make or break for Tony Ferguson?’ And I said, ‘No.’ He’s still one of the top ten guys in the world. He looked damn good in that first round, but that was a vicious knockout,” said White (video provided by MMA Fighting). “I think what needs to happen now is Tony needs to take some time off after that knockout. But it’s not like, ‘Oh my God, Tony got dominated and looked like he doesn’t even belong here. Tony looked damn good right up until he got caught. And you know, in this game, anybody can get caught with anything.”
Ferguson has now suffered defeat in his past four appearances, but those losses have come against the upper echelon on the lightweight division. The 38-year-old was previously on a 12-fight win streak that included finishes of Kevin Lee, Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone.