Tony Ferguson is a fighter, whether he wins or loses, and he proved that at UFC 249 after valiantly going down to underdog Justin Gaethje.
Many would have expected the interim light heavyweight champion to get the job done in the main event of the already postponed pay-per-view, but he was in for an almighty shock as the challenger didn't give him a second.
Right from the opening bell, Gaethje was on top of Ferguson and was landing hefty blows. A lot of the punches he did land would have comfortably knocked out many UFC competitors, but not Ferguson, oh no.
The American survived the onslaught of every round right up until the fifth and final one, when it all became too much for him and the referee simply had to do the right thing and wave off the fight.
Gaethje had thrown everything in his arsenal at Ferguson, and more often than not, the interim champ was just shaking them off and continuing to fight.
But, even the bravest of fighters fall down sometimes, and in the fifth, a solid and stiff right jab caught Ferguson flush in the face, leaving him dazed and wobbled.
After backtracking and moving slowly around the mat, another stiff punch hit its target, and eventually, the official had to step in.
Ferguson simply wasn't defending himself and it was only going to get worse for him if Herb Dean didn't make the decision to wave off the fight.
In the aftermath, UFC president Dana White even admitted that the fight could've been stopped sooner, but credit must go to both the official and Ferguson for letting the fight continue and for taking the severe levels of punishment.
With the dust settled, it should come as no surprise that the punch that FINALLY stopped Ferguson has now been given the slow motion treatment, and it's not surprising to see why it simply called time on the fight.
Ferguson, already looking like he had gone five rounds with himself, was already bruised, blooded and battered, so after that stiff jab landed sweetly on his face, he knew it was time up.
A valiant performance from the American, but it was Gaethje who stepped up and stunned the world with his almighty performance.
Now, his eyes are firmly set on Khabib Nurmagomedov, and we for one cannot wait to see that fight take place!
- Gaethje tells Ferguson 'being an a*****e gets you nowhere'
- Compilation video of Gaethje dismantling Ferguson
- Khabib tweets straight after finish of UFC 249