‘El Cucuy’, Tony Ferguson has been pictured with renown boxing coach Freddie Roach. Having dropped his previous two fights, firstly to Justin Gaethje and then to Charles Oliveira, Ferguson looks to round out his skills with Roach. In a stacked UFC lightweight division, Tony Ferguson is certainly not in the title picture, but we know that it only takes a win or two for him to be right back in the mix.
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Freddie Roach will certainly add different aspects to the game of Tony Ferguson. One of the most recognisable names in the boxing game, Roach has trained some of the best men to ever enter the squared circle.
The names on Roach’s resume include Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Bernard Hopkins, Danny Jacobs and Jorge Linares. He also worked with Oscar de la Hoya for his 2007 fight with Floyd Mayweather. Roach also worked with Tyson Fury for the ‘Gypsy King’s first fight with Deontay Wilder. His wildcard gym in California is well known in the world of boxing, with many fighters visiting to learn under the tutelage of Roach himself.
Tony Ferguson is not the first MMA fighter to train with Freddie Roach. Roach has been a figure in MMA for a number of years, training some of the biggest names in the sport for huge fights. He has worked with the former heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski, Dan Hardy, Tito Ortiz, Anderson Silva and BJ Penn. He’s also working with top Bellator prospect, Aaron Pico.
Arguably the biggest fight Roach has been a part of is Georges St Piere‘s fight with Michael Bisping at UFC 217. It marked the first time that Roach was in the corner of an MMA fighter and it certainly worked. GSP rocked Bisping heavily before choking him unconscious.
Working with Roach will certainly sharpen up the striking of Tony Ferguson. Ferguson’s striking has always been unorthodox, not being afraid to take multiple shots to land. He has razor-sharp elbows, a good striking flow once he finds his range and unorthodox strikes that can really be effective.
Tony Ferguson is currently on a two-fight skid, however. He was largely outstruck by Justin Gathje for the interim lightweight title. It surprised many, as at the time, Tony Ferguson was riding an impressive 12 fight winning run, including gaining the interim lightweight title along the way. Unfortunately for fans of Ferguson, Gaethje outstruck El Cucuy for the majority of the fight. Despite eating a strong uppercut, Gaethje was never really in danger.
His next bout saw him get dominated by Charles Oliveria on the ground. Finishing 30-26 on all scorecards, Tony Ferguson never seemed in the fight and Oliveira was never in any danger throughout the fight. There were suggestions of retirement for Ferguson but it looks as though these haven’t materialised.
Who’s next for Tony Ferguson?
Ranked #5 at the moment, Ferguson is looking to get back in the title picture. Around him in the rankings sit Dan Hooker (#8), Conor McGregor (#6) and Beneil Dariush (#9). Yes, Rafael dos Anjos is ranked #7 but we’ve already seen Tony Ferguson dominate him or five rounds.
We won’t see the McGregor fight because financially, it doesn’t make sense. The Dan Hooker fight makes some sense. Both men are on two-fight skids and both will want to get a win in their next bout to stay relevant.
Beneil Dariush could be in with a shout. Enjoying a six-fight winning run, including four post-fight bonuses, Dariush is due a big fight and Tony Ferguson could provide this.
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