Following UFC 274 the trajectory of Tony Ferguson and Charles Oliveira’s careers headed in different directions. Oliveira cemented his legacy as one of the greatest UFC lightweights of all time with a first-round submission of Justin Gathje and Ferguson extended his losing streak with a nasty KO.
So when the unofficial champion extended an offer to train with Ferguson, it seemed like a logical next step.
But apparently, Ferguson is not on the same page.
“I have to really reflect on what he said, because Chute Boxe is a very good school,” Ferguson told MMA Junkie. “But he is in my weight class. I’m one of the only fighters that he hasn’t finished, and I went into that fight practicing zero jiu-jitsu. I didn’t do too bad. I didn’t do as bad as Dustin Poirier just sitting there laying there. I stayed active and I went for submissions everywhere. It’s not like I practiced really hard.”
Ferguson explained that, despite the nice offer, he hopes he can compete against Oliveira again someday and doesn’t want to let training together effect that.
“I’ve got to really think about that one, because I see myself competing against him again,” Ferguson said. “No animosity, but I went back there and talked to him before the weigh-in faceoffs. I told him, he was signing [posters], and I walked up to him, put my hand on his shoulder and I said, ‘Hey, kid. You stay focused, all right?’ He turned around and he looked at me and he knows already. Like I told him inside that octagon (when we fought). I put my arm around his shoulder and said, ‘Walk with me.’ I’m a good scout when it comes to certain things. … I know exactly what I have to do and I can’t really say no to it or yes to it. But I know right now that it’s not the time for me to go to Chute Boxe and to train with them. There’s some local gyms out that I’m going to be part of a team and help that team grow as well as myself.”
Ferguson and Oliveira fought at UFC 256 in December 2020 with Oliveira earning the decision.