Justin Gaethje rejects notion that he caused Tony Ferguson’s downfall: “We play a rough game”

By Josh Evanoff - July 26, 2023

UFC lightweight contender Justin Gaethje has commented on Tony Ferguson’s recent performances.

Tony Ferguson, Dana White, Justin Gaethje

‘The Highlight’ and ‘El Cucuy’ are both slated to return at UFC 291 this Saturday night. However, the two former champions are in very different stages of their careers. For his part, Justin Gaethje is coming off a decision win over Rafael Fiziev in March and is slated for a main-event rematch with Dustin Poirier.

Meanwhile, Tony Ferguson is slated to return opposite Bobby Green on the main card. However, this lightweight clash could be the last one for the former interim champion. Entering UFC 291, he’s currently riding a five-fight losing streak, with the spree beginning back at UFC 249 against Justin Gaethje.

That night in May 2020, Tony Ferguson took insane amounts of damage en route to a fifth-round stoppage defeat. Having lost four fights since then, many have identified that night as when ‘El Cucuy’ began to decline. At UFC 291 media day, Justin Gaethje was asked about that notion, and the fight itself.

There, he rejected the idea that he caused Tony Ferguson’s decline. Furthermore, Justin Gaethje added that the fan-favorite is too crazy, in a good way, to let the fight still be affecting him. Nonetheless, it’s all respect between the two former opponents.

However, ‘The Highlight’ admitted that his former opponent is closer to the end than he is to the beginning of his career.


Justin Gaethje

“No, for one I think he’s crazy enough for that to even be a possibility,” Justin Gaethje stated when asked about Tony Ferguson’s recent skid. “I think we play a rough game, it’s so unforgiving. You know, I thought he won the first round against Michael Chandler, I think he dropped him. It’s just, it’s a battle of confidence, a battle of believing in yourself and there’s no doubt that something like that takes that away from you.”

He continued, “You have to work hard to get it back, but he’s a fighter. Through and through. I’ve got nothing but respect for him. You just hope that all of us have people who love us enough that are willing to have that conversation. That he’s willing to listen, or I’m willing to listen, or any fighter is willing to listen when that conversation has to be had.”

“I mean, we’re all on a timeline [to retirement]. There’s a beginning and an end, and none of us in our mid-30s are toward the beginning. There’s no doubt about it.”

What do you make of these comments from Justin Gaethje? Are you excited for Tony Ferguson’s return?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Justin Gaethje Tony Ferguson UFC