Tony Ferguson says that he isn’t quite ready to walk into the sunset.
El Cucuy, two months removed from his 40th birthday, lost his seventh bout in succession on the main card of last weekend’s UFC 296 event in Las Vegas. The former interim lightweight champion was comprehensively outpointed by Paddy Pimblett in what was the Liverpudlian fighter’s first competitive action in more than a year.
Speaking to the media afterwards, UFC boss Dana White said that, while he didn’t want to “disrespect” the UFC veteran by suggesting his time at the summit of the sport had come to an end, it might be best if Ferguson calls it a day.
“I would love to see Tony retire,” White said to reporters late on Saturday night. “When you talk about a skid, you look at the guys he fought, too. That plays a factor into it and how did he look right up until he lost? Tony tonight looked like he should retire.”
White added: “Listen, Tony’s been an absolute warrior and a dog in this sport. I don’t want to disrespect him by publicly talking about him retiring but I would love to see him retire. That’s really where my head’s at.”
But in an apparent response to calls for him to hang up the 4oz gloves for good, Ferguson took to social media early on Wednesday to rubbish suggestions that he should step away.
“I’m not retiring, casuals,” Ferguson wrote in his own inimitable style on social media. He added that “there is no success without struggle” and for his supporters to “keep the faith.” Ferguson, who record now stands at 25-10, that he intends to keep “one foot in front of the other” and keep moving forward.