Prior to the unfortunate cancellation of the Ferguson Vs. Gaethje fight, it was clear to see from the ufc betting odds that Ferguson was taking his place as the favorite to win, with Gaethje laying low as the underdog.
The best way to weigh up if Tony Ferguson would have been able to secure that win – which would have bumped his streak all the way up to 13 – is to have a look at his most recent fight.
Here we see Ferguson going up against Donald Cerrone in a brutal two-round battle at UFC 238, which was eventually stopped when Cerrone was declared unfit to continue fighting, due to the injuries inflicted by Ferguson.
The fight begins fairly calm, as the opponents suss each other out. However, that doesn’t last for long, as punches are quick to be thrown. Taking a straight slam to the face, Ferguson responds with a sharp elbow to the side of Cerrone’s head, following with a kick to the chest. Noted by one of the event’s eager commentators, Ferguson will continue to hit back unless he is “put to sleep” by his opponent. With this in mind, Cerrone tackles Ferguson to the floor, but that is still not enough to keep him down, as the unwavering fighter wriggles free and continues to dig his elbow towards Cerrone’s face.
The second round is crudely dubbed “the Tony Ferguson show” by commentators, as Ferguson begins to speed up proceedings. Landing punch after punch, Ferguson relentlessly pounds Cerrone’s swollen face, his already injured right eye receiving the majority of the assault. As the swelling grows, Cerrone backs off and the referee attempts to call time on the match, at least to give Cerrone’s team a chance to assess the damage.
But, before this can be done, Ferguson jumps forward and jabs one last strike directly into Cerrone’s face. The hit was a late hand from Ferguson, landing right after the horn to end the second round was sounded. Illinois commission members chose not to penalize the blow as it was found that it had landed on Cerrone’s nose rather than his eye, which would have been an unnecessarily spiteful move. So, with this, Ferguson was handed the TKO win.
However, Justin Gaethje cannot be forgotten about in this theoretical battle. Whilst Ferguson is unquestionably the more technical fighter between the two, with a far better skill level, Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje has considerable knockout power. Having won his past three fights with a punch-led knockout, Gaethje’s right hook is definitely one to be feared. Where he might struggle is getting Ferguson in a position where a knockout is possible. Like we saw in the Ferguson vs. Cerrone fight, Tony Ferguson is a hard man to pin down and is also a much more experienced fighter.
Hopefully one day we will get to see a fight between these two unfold for real, but, judging by their fighting history, Gaethje would need a whole lot of luck to take Ferguson down.