Tony Ferguson was demolished for a second fight in a row as Charles Oliveira made a statement at UFC 256

Tony Ferguson was talking the talk and walking the walk before his last-minute UFC fight against Charles Oliveira.

El Cucuy was making his return after a poor performance at UFC 249. Justin Gaethje made light work of Ferguson in that clash and El Cucuy was taken to the cleaners.

Tony Ferguson lost to Justin Gaethje at UFC 249
Tony Ferguson (R) looks to punch Justin Gaethje (L) in their Interim lightweight title fight during UFC 249 (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

However, this was his chance to make a stunning comeback, especially with Oliveira being on a seven-fight win streak.

Ferguson beating Oliveira would have got him closer to the title but what transpired at UFC 256 wasn’t great for the American.

Oliveira brought out a great game plan and at one second, it felt like he was going to snap Ferguson’s arm into two.

It was a miracle as to how Ferguson didn’t get a broken arm and El Cucuy showed off his warrior spirit by not tapping out.

However, the fight didn’t go all that well in the end. Oliveira was dominant in all three rounds and got a unanimous decision win.

This was the second straight fight that Ferguson was dominated in and the question to ask is what next for him?

Lightweight gold to remain a dream?

First things first, all of this could have been a lot different had Ferguson gotten the chance to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 249.

However, some things aren’t meant to be and it is unlikely El Cucuy will ever face Khabib. The next issue is Ferguson’s age. The 36-year-old is towards the end of his prime and he is being caught out time and again.

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson is set for UFC 249
Khabib Nurmagomedov (L) faces off against Tony Ferguson (R) during a press conference (Digital Trends)

Ferguson was on an incredible 12-fight win streak before Gaethje, but that loss seems to have hurt him.

El Cucuy was never someone who stuck to a lot of technique and often found his way to incredible wins, but that won’t fly in the UFC all the time.

Oliveira was younger by a lot but he had a game plan and neutralised everything that Ferguson could throw at him.

The only time Ferguson got any offence on him was when he was down and Oliveira tried to get a few punches in.

Ferguson didn’t seem completely broken after the result. El Cucuy would have known he was beaten by the better man and even had a ton of respect for the Brazilian.

Charles Oliveira was in great shape against Tony Ferguson
Charles Oliveira of Brazil punches Tony Ferguson in their lightweight bout during the UFC 256 event at UFC APEX on December 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Oliveira marches on and seems set to be in the title scene but the same cannot be said about Ferguson. The Lightweight division is stacked with quality and Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler all want a shot at gold.

Gaethje is also still ranked #1 in the division despite losing to Khabib, and it is unlikely Ferguson will get anywhere near the gold any time soon.

That is the major issue for the American. Time is not on his side as waiting a couple of years takes him to 38. It would be an incredible story if he did make one final push for the title and the UFC is built for that.

However, things don’t look all that great for him. Ferguson might go down as the greatest UFC star never to have won a title, even though he has been extremely close to climbing that mountain.

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