White thought Ferguson looked 'off,' 'slow' at UFC 249
May 12 2020
He needs to face the man many consider the greatest lightweight of all time, undefeated champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
After far too long without anything to watch in Australia bar horseracing and NRL replays, Gaethje has broken the COVID-19 drought in devastating fashion at UFC 249 - in the process claiming the UFC interim lightweight title. That was of course due to the fact that "El Cucuy" entered UFC 249 on a twelve-fight win streak.
Since then Ferguson has been laid up in recovering in hospital.
The 33-year-old, who won a gold medal for wrestling at the 2008 Olympics, has said that he is happy with his career and wants to start a family.
In the clip below, you can see how the closing moments of the fight played out.
He also took time to congratulate his opponent on the victory.
Fans were also keen to salute the bravery and spirit of a fighter who fought in front of an empty arena and had thanked Gaethje for stepping in at short notice after an initial title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov, scheduled for April 18, fell through amid travel and logistical chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
And following the savage defeat, Khabib sent his condolences to Ferguson, telling him that he should keep his "head up" and that he had nothing to be ashamed of.
Due to the current lockdown measures in the U.S., spectators weren't allowed to attend the long-awaited UFC 249.
The UFC president gave Jacksonville a go for at least a week provided that there was no audience and social distancing rules were applied for essential employees. The only true sporting event that has aired in months caused UFC 249 in Jacksonville, FL to be treated like the Super Bowl.
One would have to assume Gaethje is going into that fight as a massive underdog.
"Congratulations to Dana White and UFC", said Fox News, citing the message of the president. Again, maybe my mind has just been deprived of sports and I would have been fascinated by any sport you showed me, but Ferguson is built out of iron and nothing can convince me otherwise. "We found out he was positive and all the other tests were negative", he said. "We were all clean".
"I don't want to take anything away from Gaethje, because he fought an incredible fight, but I thought Tony looked off tonight", White said at the postfight press conference, according to MMA Fighting.