Tony Ferguson’s Boxing Coach: Justin Gaethje ‘Fought A Hell Of A Fight’

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Tony Ferguson’s boxing coach Rashad Holloway detailed what went wrong for his fighter against Justin Gaethje this past weekend.

Ferguson’s 12-fight winning streak came to an end following a fifth-round TKO defeat to Gaethje in the UFC 249 headliner. Although “El Cucuy” displayed great endurance and heart, he was ultimately got caught with a number of huge shots from Gaethje as he never fully got into a groove.

For Holloway, it was a combination of Ferguson not being as sharp as usual along with Gaethje having the performance of his life.

“Tony was not as sharp sometimes as we usually see, but Tony was active,” Holloway told Helen Yee in a recent interview. “He was busy. Justin Gaethje just fought a hell of a fight. He fought a hell of a fight. He was just able to capitalize on some of the mistakes Tony made.

“Tony fought Tony’s fight in some significance but at the same time, there were a lot of things he didn’t do, and I think that was due to Justin Gaethje putting on a good performance, and it just is what it is some nights.”

As for what Ferguson could have done more, there were certainly a few things according to Holloway.

However, Ferguson’s love of brawling — which is what helped him embark on such an impressive win streak — ultimately played a role in his demise on Saturday night.

“I’m a boxing guy,” Holloway added. “I don’t really go into a lot of other stuff, there’s a lot of stuff I don’t know so I stick to what I know. Our whole game plan was to stay on the outside, strike, stay long, move to our right at all times. Tony did that at times. He didn’t do it as much as I wanted him at times, but Tony’s Tony — Tony likes to engage, Tony likes to bang, and that’s what makes Tony Tony at the same time. He did a lot of that. I think I would have liked to see Tony use his feet a little bit more. Tony did some good teeps in the beginning of the fight, like when he stayed long. He did very well in keeping Justin off balance, a lot of good leg kicks.

“Of course, we all wanna see Tony on the ground more with Gaethje, More submissions, more jiu-jitsu but at the same time, Gaethje makes it hard. You look at all of Gaethje’s fights, Gaethje doesn’t let anyone take him to the ground. He does a good job of that. Takedown defense is pretty good so you know, it was Gaethje’s night.”

That said, Holloway is confident his fighter will come back with a bang. It would certainly be a shame if that didn’t end up being the case.

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Date: May 13, 2020

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