UFC President Dana White believes that Ferguson doing two weight cuts in the lead up to the event may have affected his performance against Gaethje.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Gaethje, because he fought an incredible fight,” White said at the UFC 249 post-fight press conference (via Steven Marrocco of MMA Fighting). “But I thought Tony looked off tonight. I thought he looked slow, and I would have to imagine that cutting weight twice in a month will affect you. So I don’t know if that’s it or what. The guy isn’t human. He’s got a chin. Nobody takes Gaethje’s punches like that – nobody I’ve seen since I’ve been watching Gaethje fight. But this kid did.”
Ferguson’s first weight cut took place in April, when the original UFC 249 card was set to happen, while the second happened in line with when the event actually took place.
White says that some have argued that the stoppage happened too early, but White believes it was stopped too late.
“Tony took a lot of damage tonight. Not only did he take a lot of damage, he took damage from a guy who f*cking hits like a truck, a guy who hits very hard, and usually knocks people unconscious when he hits people. So I actually think the stoppage was great, and I think it could have been stopped sooner,” says White.
There is no word yet as to when Ferguson will fight next, while Gaethje is expected to face UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov later this year.