UFC fan-favorite fighter Tony Ferguson is in the worst slump of his career, but he’s far from done. And “El Cucuy” is now searching for a new gym to call home.
That’s what Ferguson said during a recent interview with MMA Junkie. El Cucuy suffered his fourth defeat in a row on Saturday night at UFC 274 after his opponent, Michael Chandler, landed a brutal kick to his jaw.
It was the first time in 30-plus fights as a professional that Ferguson was finished in such a way. And although he was knocked out in the second round, El Cucuy is happy with the work he put in during the first frame.
He hurt and dropped Chandler, and Ferguson told the outlet that if he had done a few things differently, it would have been him who had his hand raised in the middle of the Octagon.
“I got knocked the f*** out,” Ferguson said via the outlet. “I don’t want that sh*t to ever happen again. It could’ve, one – been prevented – and two, I should’ve had him finished in the first round. As soon as I knocked him down. The little basics that I could’ve did to make sure I could’ve got out in the first round, and everybody would be kissing my a**. But God works in mysterious ways, and he’s not ready yet, son.
“He had me sit down and take a nap and rest for a second, because I work my a** off this camp with this humility that people want to present to me. I’m a new man. I don’t care. I’ve been to hell and back and I’m here now. Reborn again. And I’m here to take over.
“There’s only so much humility a man can go through. I’ve been through it all, right? I’ve had my belt stripped – I don’t have to go back and refurbish all that stuff. But going back and looking at it, the first round I didn’t do too bad. I was having fun in there, I had a good fight week.
“I started loosening up in there more toward the fight, which was fun. It was really good to be back in there, I’ll be real. Except for the second round. The second round, I’m still kind of flabbergasted why I was backing up.”
El Cucuy Plans on Finding a New Gym to Train With
For years, Ferguson has trained with select coaches and training partners. He hasn’t been part of a major gym like most top mixed martial artists typically are. Well, Ferguson told the outlet that this is something he plans on changing up.
From the Jackson Wink to Syndicate, El Cucuy said he has a lot of options and he’s “ready to be part of a team again.”
” I have to open myself up again to being coached at a high level,” Ferguson continued. “Especially in my sport.”
Ferguson Will Let the UFC Know When He’s Ready for His Comeback
The former interim UFC lightweight champion said that he’ll reach out to the UFC when he’s ready to return. First, he needs to find a new gym to train at.
And although he calls himself a “shot-caller,” El Cucuy also considers himself a “company man,” and he expects that the promotion will have a good idea of who he should fight when the time comes.
“What I’ve always done is call my shots with the UFC,” Ferguson said. “I’m a shot-caller with the UFC. Any time I want a fight I always bring myself presentable. My relationship with Dana (White) is decent. I might say a couple things and act on it, but that’s not me retaliating. That’s me defending myself. That’s me being able to speak and have balls. Be a man. For a while there I felt like I had to be quiet and earn my respect and earn my value, but I stopped worrying about all that s***.
“When I’m ready to fight I will let the UFC know, and I guarantee you they’ll let me know, too, ‘Hey, this is who we have.’ I was ready for (Islam) Makhachev in Abu Dhabi if some things would’ve been a little bit different.
“But I try to take these opportunities and present them so I’m there for the company. They know I’m a company man, and that’s why they said I’m not going anywhere.”