UFC star Tony Ferguson broke his silence on Thursday about which fighter he intends to target next. The 36-year-old American revealed via social media that he wants to face interim lightweight champ Justin Gaethje in a rematch.
Gaethje defeated Ferguson to capture UFC gold at UFC 249 on May 9.
Ferguson was originally supposed to take on UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event of that UFC pay-per-view card, but Gaethje became the late replacement opponent after the COVID-19 pandemic kept Nurmagomedov from being able to travel outside his home country of Russia.
Ferguson had won 12 straight UFC contests heading into that fight, but Gaethje amazingly dismantled the lightweight contender with forceful strikes and a brilliant gameplan.
In the end, Gaethje notched the fifth-round stoppage win in dominant fashion.
That gave Gaethje next crack at Nurmagomedov and left Ferguson without a dance partner.
While Ferguson might want another chance to beat Gaethje, he’s not likely to get that chance anytime soon.
So Ferguson will likely need to look for another quality opponent.
Luckily for him, there are plenty of options.
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Dan Hooker Calls Out Ferguson
Lightweight contender Dan Hooker just competed in a Fight of the Year candidate over the weekend. While the 30-year-old from New Zealand got off to a fast start, he couldn’t quite keep up with former interim champ Dustin Poirier over the last three rounds of the five-round showdown.
Now Hooker needs a next opponent, and it appears he has his sights set on Ferguson.
There’s no doubt Hooker vs. Ferguson would be top-shelf action.
But Hooker might still need to get in line behind the fighter who just defeated him.
Ferguson vs. Poirier Might Make Most Sense
Both Ferguson and Poirier would seem to need big-name opponents while they wait on Nurmagomedov and Gaethje to settle things for the undisputed lightweight championship. That fight is expected to happen later this year.
Since UFC superstar Conor McGregor just retired, the next best option for both men would probably be each other. Both have huge names in the sport and putting them together would be a quality option to top any UFC PPV event.
On top of that, both Ferguson and Poirier still have UFC lightweight title hopes. While both lost their recent bids for UFC gold, one of them should be able to put himself in position for another crack at the 155-pound title soon.
All they need to do right now is win big fights.
Poirier would seem to have the inside track to another title shot, and beating Ferguson in a proposed lightweight showdown between two of the most popular American lightweights in the world could only enhance those odds.
And the only hope Ferguson has for getting a rematch against Gaethje or securing a shot at Nurmagomedov would be by nabbing important divisional wins over the best contenders at 155.
There’s no better contender right now than Poirier.
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