Set to return to the Octagon at UFC 252 on May 15th. against the streaking, Beneil Dariush — former interim lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson has claimed that he was “too one-dimensional” during his recent losing skid against fellow contenders, Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira.
Featuring in a short-notice UFC 249 headliner for interim lightweight spoils back in May of last year in Jacksonville, Florida, Ferguson suffered the snapping of his division-tying twelve-fight winning spree in the form of a devastating beating at the hands of the above-mentioned, Gaethje over five rounds prior to an eventual stoppage loss.
Returning at the end of the year in a UFC 256 co-headliner slot in December, Ferguson tackled the surging Oliveira who was fresh from a third-round guillotine victory over common-foe, Kevin Lee in a UFC Fight Night Brasilia main event in March.
Battling with the Sao Paulo submission specialist over three rounds, Ferguson almost suffered a nasty armbar loss in the opening frame against Oliveira, with the klaxon sounding as the former’s arm was severely hyperextended.
Ultimately finding himself on the wrong side of a largely one-sided unanimous decision defeat, Ferguson had suffered back-to-back blemishes for the first time in his professional career.
Drawing the tough and experienced Kings MMA staple, Dariush at UFC 262 at the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas — Ferguson broke down the fight and his opponent, before noting how he believes he was “too one-dimensional” in his last couple of Octagon appearances during a recent interview with Submission Radio.
“It’s a great fight. Let’s talk about Beneil (Dariush),” Ferguson said.”The guy’s an up and comer. Not up and comer, an OG dude. He’s been doing the game for a long time. He’s over at Huntington beach with Rafael Cordeiro. He’s a southpaw, he’s very strong on his left side. He’s very game in mixing it up. So, that’s why I’ve been mixing my sh*t up. Because I got too one-dimensional. When you get too one dimensional, you start to plateau. And as a master trainer, you should be able to realize that and then understand that, make some changes, and then be able to get your athlete back on the same program, which was, not peaking, but steadily increasing. Paying attention to the smaller details are always going to make for the best things. And Beneil and their team, they got a sh*tload of people over there (at Kings MMA) helping them out. They got like an Ultimate Fighter team. It feels like I’m back on The Ultimate Fighter, guys. It really does.”
“He’s a good fighter, man. I’m gonna be real, he’s solid. You can’t overlook Beneil. I’m f*ckin’ strong. I’m strong as f*ck though. I’m solid too. The other day I was pushing a truck back and forth down my fucken alley the other day, and my buddy’s like… I didn’t even stop, it was crazy. I’m on a different level right now. I’m staying consistent with it. Beneil, he’s going to be doing his thing, man. I guarantee you he’s going to be working his ass off. But it’s not gonna change what I’m doing. I’m back on him like how before everybody knew me before Ultimate Fighter. Like, you guys didn’t know sh*t.”
Recently, prior to his booking against Dariush, Ferguson brought his talents to Wild Card Boxing in Hollywood, California — under the tutelage of renowned boxing head coach, veteran trainer, Freddie Roach. Touching on the moving of his camp, Ferguson explained how he enjoys the structure that comes with training sessions at the Hollywood facility.
“Instead of a varsity mentality I went back to an Olympic mentality, and I started to surround myself around people that are hungry how I am and how they’ve been for a long time,” Ferguson said. “And I started to find myself over at Wild Card (Boxing) a lot easier because that’s where I knew that I could find that kind of grind.“
“The structure that I’ve found over at Wild Card boxing with coach Freddie Roach, and then you have Marvin Somodio and then you have coach Pepe Reily and my teammates,” Ferguson explained. “It’s very structured and it’s very cool how they have it, and it’s awesome, man. It’s not worrying about what song’s next on the radio – not that it was the case ever anywhere, but it’s really cool, man. You’ve got amateurs, you’ve got pros and you’ve got Olympians. And you have a different look at everything, but the grind is still the same, it does not f*ckin’ change. And it’s nice to be around that because of that structure. For a long time, I had to structure myself. And I did that, especially with balancing everything. What’s cool is being able to have the perspective of my coaches and my team to be able to understand the game of martial arts as a whole. And it’s really nice, man. I’m gonna be real, it’s a really cool approach at how my trainers and training partners at Wild Card, and even, in general, my new training partners now, how the perspective, they’ve been getting the reps in. Like I said, last year I had to care about a lot of other people’s happiness before myself, to make sure other people were good. Getting sports back on, making sure the business and everything else, my sponsors and everything were secure, and making sure that this year we were gonna make the numbers better. Making sure that the UFC, if they needed a hole filled in for a gap, I’m there, I’m clutch. I’m Death Clutch.“