LAS VEGAS – Tony Ferguson knows where he messed up.
The former UFC interim champion was submitted in his return to the octagon against Nate Diaz in the main event of Saturday’s UFC 279. It was a fight where Ferguson (25-8 MMA, 15-6 UFC) was very competitive and was having a lot of success in the standup – especially with leg kicks.
However, in the fourth round, Ferguson shot for a takedown at the request of his corner, and that’s when he was put in a guillotine choke by Diaz (21-13 MMA, 16-11 UFC). Ferguson knows that wasn’t the right move.
“My corner went for the shot, but should’ve kept it standing,” Ferguson told reporters backstage after UFC 279. “Little details to expand on and to grow from. Nate is a game fighter. I can’t say anything else. It’s not like he’s old and slow and stuff. Hopefully, the crowd that was at UFC 279 there present got some blood splattered on them or something. I had fun in there.”
As far as what’s next for Ferguson, the 38-year-old doesn’t plan to retire. Despite being on a five-fight losing streak, Ferguson firmly believes he still has plenty of gas left in the tank.
“I hang my hat at two different places besides home – at 155 and at 70,” Ferguson said. “At 70, it’s been like, what, 10-11 years? I mean, sh*t, I was 14-2 with mostly knockouts? My body literally just got used to it. I fought in May. I lifted heavy. I was taking some weight-gainer protein, doing it right. … I enjoyed it. My fans, the supporters, family and fans first. It’s a different me out there, and it’s a different me right now.”
While his next challenge is uncertain, Ferguson knows he’s here to stay and face it.
“‘El Cucuy’ is a legend, I’m not going f*cking nowhere, man.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 279.