Charles Oliveira almost detached Tony Ferguson’s arm from his body at UFC 256 in May 2021 (watch highlights). The two have gone in opposite directions since, but have no ill-will toward one another.
Both competing this past weekend at UFC 274, Ferguson was tasked with Michael Chandler while Oliveira headlined against Justin Gaethje. The former Lightweight champion, “Do Bronx” secured yet another sensational victory when submitting Gaethje via first-round rear-naked choke after a wild slugfest on the feet (watch highlights). As for Ferguson, he started off strong in round one before succumbing to one of the gnarliest front kick knockouts ever seen in mixed martial arts (MMA) history (watch highlights).
“We’re among big dogs, up&downs are part of our journeys,” Oliveira tweeted. “I admire you a lot @tonyfergusonxt. You’ve the history inside the Octagon. Head up “El Cucuy”!
“If you wish, let’s train together in ChuteBoxe’s hedquarter in São Paulo for your nxt fight. You’re a brother!”
It’s been tough sledding for “El Cucuy” dating back to June 2019 when he picked up a technical knockout via doctor’s stoppage against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (watch highlights). The highly anticipated dream matchup with Khabib Nurmagomedov never came to fruition for the thrilling Ultimate Fighter 13 winner. As a result, a four-fight skid snowballed after facing the aforementioned Gaethje in an interim title clash in May 2020.
Ferguson suffered a fifth-round technical knockout defeat after one of Gaethje’s more clinical performances. Losses to Oliveira and Beneil Dariush were then sandwiched between it and the most recent Chandler outing.
Oliveira, on the other hand, has been borderline unbeatable having bested all three of the top-tier Lightweights that were in action at UFC 274. Presumably awaiting him next is the also surging Islam Makhachev, but it remains to be determined exactly which direction the promotion will go in after Oliveira was stripped of the title due to missing weight by half a pound the day before fight night.