Bisping expresses concern for Ferguson following back-to-back defeats

‘The human body can only take so much’: UFC icon Michael Bisping expresses concern for Tony Ferguson as he admits it was ‘hard to watch him get dominated’ in back-to-back defeats by Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira

  • Michael Bisping has expressed concern for Tony Ferguson’s future in the UFC
  • He has suffered successive defeats against Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje
  • Bisping admits seeing Ferguson get dominated in both fights was ‘hard to watch’
  • Ferguson, 36, is now considering his options in the UFC following two defeats

Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has expressed concern for Tony Ferguson and the amount of damage he has taken during his 13-year MMA career.

Following two brutal defeats at the hands of Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira, Ferguson is now being questioned about his future in the sport and Bisping is worried about the long-term effects fighting will have on the American’s body.

Both in victory and defeat, Ferguson has taken a lot of damage over the years but has more often than not come out on top, having won 12 consecutive fights between 2013 and 2019, which put in him in the lightweight title picture. 

Tony Ferguson’s future in the UFC is in doubt following back-to-back defeats this year

Ex-UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has expressed concern for Ferguson’s health

A fight against lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was on the cards on five separate occasion but always failed to materialise, which saw Ferguson take a fight with Gaethje at UFC 249 earlier this year.

The defeat by Gaethje was his first in seven years, which would then see him go on to lose his next fight against Oliveira at UFC 256 earlier this month, in a contest that horrifically saw his arm get bent backwards while in an armbar.

Despite the continued punishment, Ferguson will be considering his options to fight on but Bisping has expressed his concerns that it may be time to call it quits in the octagon. 

‘I just think the real story of what we’re seeing here is the rapid decline of Tony Ferguson because the human body can only take so much and Tony has been such a warrior for the UFC,’ Bisping said of Ferguson on his Believe You Me podcast. 

Ferguson (right) was beaten emphatically by Charles Oliveira at UFC 256 earlier this month

Oliveira (right) has his arm raised after handing Ferguson (left) his second defeat of 2020

‘I’ve got nothing bad to say about Tony Ferguson — and what I’m about to say, if I’m Tony, could be perceived as that way and that’s not what I’m trying to do — I have nothing but respect for Tony Ferguson. He is a true fighter. He’s an absolute warrior. 

‘He’s put on some sensational performances inside the octagon, but he’s also taken a lot of damage and often because he’s so f***ing tough he’s able to outlast his opponents, he takes this amount of damage, and then he puts the hurt on them and he gets the win. And it’s always in spectacular fashion, that’s why he gets so many bonuses.

‘But my point and my theory is that you can only take so much. The human body has an expiry date. 

‘Okay, he’s not getting flatlined, he’s not getting knocked out, but he’s taking a lot of damage, he’s starting to slow down, he’s not looking quite as snappy, he’s not quite as explosive, and of course, he just lost two fights.’

Bisping pointed out how Ferguson ‘didn’t have any good moments’ against either Oliveira or Gaethje but insists defeats against them are nothing to be ashamed of.

‘Against Justin Gaethje he got out-struck and then against Charles Oliveira he essentially for the most part got out-grappled,’ Bisping added. 

His defeat to Oliveira came just a few months after he was beaten by Justin Gaethje (left)

The defeat by Gaethje was Ferguson’s first in seven years and has left his future in UFC in doubt

‘I’m kind of concerned for Tony Ferguson. Of course, he doesn’t want my sympathy, he doesn’t need my concern, he doesn’t want me talking about him like this, but I’m just curious about where he’s gonna go now as a fighter and I do feel for him. 

‘It’s hard. When you’re a guy like Tony Ferguson or anybody in the UFC that’s at the top of the food chain for so long and you’re one of the guys, you’re one of the main guys in that division for so long, and then to see this fall from grace if you will, to get dominated two times in a row.

‘Charles Oliveira, for all the skill that he has and I said he was massively under-appreciated, is not one of the guys that you think of as the stars of the division. 

‘He will be now, but he wasn’t prior to this fight. I just hope that Tony Ferguson deals with this well, I hope has a good team around him.’

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