Coach believes Tony Ferguson needs “mental break from this sport”

Tony Ferguson, UFC 249

Tony Ferguson suffered a fifth round TKO loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 in his bid to reclaim the promotions interim lightweight title.

Although he was the betting favorite heading into last weekend’s pay-per-view event headliner, ‘El Cucuy’ was ultimately outclassed by ‘The Highlight’ for the majority of the contest, this before the eventual referee stoppage.

It was a devastating setback for Ferguson, one which ended his twelve-fight winning streak. Despite the tough loss, Tony Ferguson seems to be in good spirits and has even engaged in an online feud with Conor McGregor in recent days.

While no timeline has been given for Tony Ferguson’s return, if his boxing coach Rashad Holloway has his way, ‘El Cucuy’ will be taking a much needed mental break from the sport.

“I think at this point, Tony needs a mental break from this sport,” Holloway said in a recent interview with MMA reporter Helen Yee (via MMAMania). “Just to be normal, not deal with all the politics and the headaches of it, the physical part of it.”

UFC 249 Poster Khabib Tony
Courtesy UFC.com

Tony Ferguson was initially slated to face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the promotions undisputed lightweight title on April 18. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and Khabib Nurmagomedov being stuck in his home country of Russia, that bout was no longer available.

While Ferguson did not end up competing on April 18, he did make weight for the proposed fight date. Three weeks later, ‘El Cucuy’ would once again make the cut to 155-pounds, this for his UFC 249 bout with Justin Gaethje.

Due to the extended camp, multiple weight cuts, and grueling fight with Gaethje, Holloway believes a rest is in order for his fighter in Tony Ferguson.

“I think after a couple of months of resting, no working out, we can go to the gym and have some fun. Just have some fun working out. … Just have fun, not really prep for a fight but just have fun and take a break and fall in love with the sport all over again. It’s a lot of pressure when you’re undefeated for so long and you’re looked at as the marquee guy. Now it’s like the weight’s off his shoulders and he can be normal again.”

Who would you like to see Tony Ferguson fight next when he is healthy and ready to make his return to the cage? Share your thoughts in the comments section PENN Nation!

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com May 15, 2020