UFC 249 Results – Justin Gaethje Batters And Stops Tony Ferguson To Win Interim Title
Justin Gaethje has finally made an official arrival at the UFC lightweight title scene with a fifth round stoppage victory over top contender Tony Ferguson to win the UFC interim Lightweight title at UFC 240 on Saturday night at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
Gaethje a former WOSF Lightweight champion, pulled off an astonishing performance against Ferguson, bloodied him with strikes and forced a stoppage in the fifth round of the main event to win the interim title, which automatically booked him up for a possible unification fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov before the end of the year.
Gaethje handed Ferguson five rounds of one sided display, punishing him all the way from the first tithe fifth round before the referee stopped Gaethje for inflicting more damage on the already bloodied Ferguson.
Gaethje who saw himself lose twice in a row due to his aggressive risk taking style was very cautious, while aggressively landing on Ferguson with devastating power while refusing to engage in any wild exchanges throughout the fight.
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Ferguson was able to send Gaethje to the canvas in the second round with an uppercut but that was all as he failed to put out notable strikes for majority of the 25 minutes but that wasn’t all as he showed some kind of durability, hanging in there while taking big shots that could end up taking out any Lightweight in the UFC.
Gaethje kept his composure while racking up points on the judge’s scorecards but that wasn’t how the fight would be decided as Gaethje ended the fight with a stiff jab that sent Ferguson backwards and left him shaking his head. That was enough for the referee, who jumped in to stop the fight at with two minutes left in the final round.
After the fight, the UFC president Dana White put the Interim belt around his waist but Gaethje discarded it afterwards and put his sights on the lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“I knew I was a killer stepping in here,” Gaethje said about his performance. “No better drug on Earth. Adrenaline coursing through my veins.”
“I had to lose to change, Can’t fix what’s not broken. I was getting hit too much, and I was having too much fun. At this level you absolutely cannot do that.”
“I’ll wait for the real one,” Gaethje said after tossing the interim title on the ground. “Khabib is the best in the world. I’ve been working since I was 4 [years old] for challenges like this and I’m happy to represent the United States of America against Dagestan or Russia’s best.
“He’s 28-0 and there’s no other challenge I want right now. I want to fight him.”
While Justin Gaethje was out celebrating the win, Tony Ferguson just saw his twelve fight winning streak disappear before him with the opportunity to finally face Khabib Nurmagomedov after being scheduled to fight five times in the past.
Ferguson didn’t like the outcome of the fight but that was going to take credits away from Gaethje and he was going to change that.
“It’s been a long f*cking camp,” Ferguson said following his first loss since 2012. “We’ve been preparing since November. Justin’s a tough son of a b*tch. Sh*t happens. What can you do.”
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Tony Ferguson Vs Justin Gaethje