For the first time since 2012, Tony Ferguson didn’t get his hand raised at the end of a fight.

Justin Gaethje defeated Ferguson via fifth-round knockout to secure the interim lightweight belt at UFC 249.

Gaethje appeared to control the fight from the start until official Herb Dean ruled Ferguson wasn’t fit to fight anymore with 1:21 left in the fifth round after a series of gruesome blows left Ferguson bloodied and dazed.

Gaethje delivered an onslaught of strikes throughout the fight, but Ferguson showed he had a strong chin by eating some incredible shots.

Dana White said earlier this week the winner of this fight would battle Khabib Nurmagomedov in a title unification bout. The Russian said he would be able to fight as early as July, after he is done observing Ramadan and getting back into shape.

This was Ferguson’s first loss since he lost to Michael Johnson in 2012, snapping a 12-fight win streak. Gaethje won his fourth-straight fight, all via knockout.

Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images