Just like the boogeyman that he’s, Tony Ferguson appeared to be unstoppable. He mowed via one sufferer at a time, at the same time as his sights remained set on a distant goal that might by no means be reached. Ferguson appeared simply an excessive amount of for anybody who can hit 155 kilos on a scale, along with his thudding punches and slicing elbows and infinite ammunition, however principally along with his championship thoughts.

Saturday evening at UFC 249, Justin Gaethje was alleged to be one other casualty of El Cucuy’s curse, unfortunate quantity 13 on his streak towards one more reserving with UFC light-weight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. However the film ended early, the unstoppable villain by no means making it to the climactic showdown.

Maybe it’s the destiny of a boogeyman to by no means slay his biggest adversary, however Ferguson deserved the prospect. He greater than deserved it. He earned it in blood, sweat, effort.

A part of what stored him from Khabib was dangerous luck. The UFC tried and did not get the 2 to the cage so many instances its matchmakers will without end get up in chilly sweats. It fell aside for causes that had been more and more inconceivable and out of the promotion’s management, however with each extra victory, the matchup turned all of the extra intriguing. However now, it’s possible gone without end.

What a disgrace. For Ferguson, for Khabib, for the UFC, for the followers, it would at all times be the one which bought away.

Ferguson constructed a report win streak, he gained the interim light-weight championship, he defeated former champions, he overcame a critical knee damage. He did greater than another contender to construct a bulletproof case, however even a boogeyman has limits.

Gaethje did to him what he has executed to a lot of the UFC light-weight roster over the previous seven and a half years. He bloodied him, swelled him up, made his legs go wobbly, left him trying just like the sufferer of a midnight horror present. In some methods, he was. In some methods, it was even worse than that. Some fighters go away the cage shedding a combat. Ferguson misplaced the chance of a lifetime.

Issues went south for him early. Gaethje’s low kicks discovered their mark and his highly effective left hook appeared to have a radar lock on Ferguson’s chin. Whereas Ferguson in some way managed to stay upright from punches that may have dropped most middleweights, his toughness was maybe his spotlight of the evening. There wasn’t a outcome to have fun however his braveness, his streak, his coronary heart, these had been all issues that had been mirrored in his presence and efficiency.

Ferguson, in spite of everything, didn’t have to do that. He was properly inside his rights to park himself and his unequalled rèsume on the sidelines till the UFC may work out how one can put him and Nurmagomedov in the identical enviornment on the identical time. It most likely wouldn’t even have been an extended wait. Whereas there’s nonetheless no clear date for the easing of COVID-19 associated journey restrictions which have impacted worldwide journey, you’ll be able to sense issues altering as nationwide and native governments all over the world start to allow the reopening of companies. The UFC will quickly have choices on the place to host a match between them. Florida is the promotion’s house for the week, however UFC president Dana White’s often-mentioned “Battle Island,” an under-construction venue in a yet-undisclosed location, is predicted to be out there by the early summer time. Loads of different locations are quickly to shoot up their palms and volunteer, too, hopeful to indicate the world they’re again in enterprise with a marquee combat.

The actual fact is, no one would a lot care the place it occurred. Las Vegas, a barge off worldwide waters, the YAMMA pit. We’d take it wherever we may get it, so long as we bought it.

However now it’s gone, possible one other dream match misplaced to historical past together with the likes of Randy Couture vs. Fedor Emelianenko, Georges St-Pierre vs. Anderson Silva and Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Cyborg.

Is it potential he may combat his approach again towards Khabib? Sure, however the chance appears distant, if solely due to his age — he’s 36 years previous, the second-oldest ranked light-weight behind 37-year-old Donald Cerrone. Maybe a single win over a prime 5 opponent would put him again within the hunt, however it may well’t be denied that with out the competing streaks—Nurmagomedov has gained 12 in a row—the combat loses a lot of its luster. The boogeyman, in spite of everything, isn’t fairly as scary after you’ve simply seen him lose.

Perhaps when issues return to regular we will simply faux this was all a fever dream. All of it appears so surreal, anyway, two guys preventing in an empty, cavernous enviornment because the world waits to come back out of hibernation. Ferguson did us all a favor by competing, however his good deed backfired in a approach that shook the game. Ferguson-Nurmagomedov is now a misplaced piece of historical past and a cautionary story with a ultimate plot twist nobody noticed coming, El Cucuy remodeling from terrifying to tragic.