12 consecutive wins. 15-1 UFC lightweight record. Undefeated since 2013.
Without knowing the fighter attached to these incredible stats, one could easily assume they belong to a decorated UFC champion, but Tony Ferguson has still not earned a title shot.
To borrow a line from the great Bruce Buffer, “It’s time.”
On June 8, Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson defeated Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone via TKO to earn his 12th consecutive win — a streak only five other fighters have ever achieved inside the octagon.
The difference is that Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva, Demetrious Johnson, Jon Jones, and Demetrious Johnson have all won UFC titles and defended them a combined 41 times.
Looking at Ferguson’s resume it is clear that he is deserving of a title shot with victories over legends like Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone, and Rafael dos Anjos.
However, Ferguson’s path to the title has been hindered by a series of unfortunate events.
In 2017, Ferguson defeated Kevin Lee for the interim UFC lightweight championship, which should have solidified a fight between himself and the champion.
He was scheduled to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223, but after a freak accident forced him to withdraw from the card, he was stripped of his interim title.
After a successful knee surgery, Ferguson would return to action in less than seven months, but again he would be skipped over for a title shot, or even a number one contender matchup.
At UFC 229, Ferguson stopped Anthony Pettis in one of the most exciting fights of the year and once again it appeared that he would finally get his shot.
But less than an hour later, the infamous post-fight brawl took place between Conor McGregor, Nurmagomedov, and their corners, leading to suspensions for those involved.
Despite the ramifications, notably Nurmagomedov’s nine-month suspension, it was clear that Ferguson would be next in line to fight the champion.
In March, it was reported that Ferguson’s wife had filed a temporary restraining order against him for “paranoid and delusional” behaviour.
Dana White announced that Ferguson would be taking time away from the sport to deal with private family issues and that he could not fight at this time.
The UFC decided to move forward with another interim lightweight title bout on April 13 at UFC 236 between Dustin Poirier and Max Holloway.
Poirier ultimately won the bout, and is now scheduled to face Nurmagomedov on Sept. 7 at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The restraining order was also dropped in April and just a few weeks later, Ferguson met with the UFC brass to discuss his next fight — the fight with Donald Cerrone.
And so here we are again coming off another impressive win for Ferguson, shrugging our shoulders and asking what is next.
Should Ferguson take a rematch with Cerrone or a fight with McGregor?
The answer is simple:
It’s Tony time or as he would put it, “Champ Shit Only.”