Tony Ferguson. Source: BBC

Anthony Armand Ferguson Padilla (born February 12, 1984) is a professional MMA fighter from the United States. He now competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Lightweight category (UFC). He was once the Interim UFC Lightweight Champion.

Ferguson has been a professional fighter since 2008, and he has been with the UFC since he won The Ultimate Fighter 13. Ferguson has also studied boxing, jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, and Wing Chun in addition to wrestling. He is ranked #6 in the UFC lightweight rankings as of May 17, 2021.

Source: UFC

Early life

Ferguson was born on February 12, 1984, in Oxnard, California, but grew up primarily in Muskegon, Michigan. He is of Mexican descent. Ferguson is his Scottish American stepfather’s surname.

Ferguson participated in three sports at Muskegon Catholic Central High School: American football, baseball, and wrestling. He started defensive back for the Class 8 state football champions in 2000 and was a three-time All-State wrestler, winning the 152-pound division in 2002.

Ferguson attended Central Michigan University after high school before transferring to Grand Valley State University. He also attended Muskegon Community College. He did not finish his degree, but he did have a great collegiate wrestling career, earning the National Collegiate Wrestling Association national wrestling championship in the 165-pound division in 2006.

Ferguson returned to California after college to be closer to his extended family, working in marketing and sales during the day and bartending at night. A patron saw Ferguson’s cauliflower ear while working a bar shift one night and began up a conversation about his wrestling past. The patron worked as a trainer at a local MMA gym and was invited to help with some young MMA fighters on their wrestling. He soon chose to pursue a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

Mixed martial arts career

Early career

Ferguson began his professional MMA career in 2007 by fighting in local organisations throughout California. In his early career, he defeated kickboxing champion Joe Schilling and lost to future World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) fighter Karen Darabedyan.

The Ultimate Fighter

Source: SB Nation.

Ferguson applied numerous times to compete in the UFC’s reality show The Ultimate Fighter. After collecting a 10-2 professional record and winning the welterweight championship in PureCombat, he was ultimately invited to compete in season 13 of the series in 2010. On The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos, he participated as a welterweight.

Ferguson was chosen as Team Lesnar’s third pick. Ferguson knocked out Justin Edwards in the first round of his debut. In the quarterfinals, he faced Ryan McGillivray, whom he defeated by TKO in the first round. In the semifinals, he met Chuck O’Neil, whom he defeated by TKO in the third round to progress to the final.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Source: ESPN

Ferguson made his UFC debut against Ramsey Nijem in the Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale to determine the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 13. Ferguson won a UFC deal by knocking out Nijem in the opening round. In addition, he received the Knockout of the Night bonus.

Ferguson returned to lightweight after his debut and faced Aaron Riley on September 24, 2011, at UFC 135. The bout was stopped after the first round when Riley claimed he had a broken jaw, giving Ferguson a TKO victory.

Ferguson then competed in the Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale against MMA veteran Yves Edwards. Ferguson won unanimously (30–27, 30–27, and 29–28).

Tony Ferguson was scheduled to meet Dennis Hallman at UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller on May 5, 2012. However, Hallman was forced to leave the game due to an injury and was replaced by Thiago Tavares. Then, due to an injury, Tavares was forced to leave the fight and was replaced by Michael Johnson. Ferguson was defeated by a unanimous decision.

Ferguson returned to the ring on October 19, 2013, at UFC 166, after taking almost a year out to recover from an arm injury sustained in his previous fight. In the first round, he won via D’Arce choke submission. The victory also earned him his first Submission of the Night honour.

Source: Fighting Irish MMA

Ferguson fought Donald Cerrone at UFC 238 on June 8, 2019. He won the fight via TKO after Cerrone blew his nose between rounds 2 and 3, causing his swollen right eye to completely close, rendering him unable to continue. Both fighters were named Battle of the Night for their performance in this fight.

Personal life

Source: Pinterest

Ferguson and his wife, Cristina Ferguson, have a son, Armand Anthony. Cristina filed a restraining order against Ferguson in March 2019, stating atypical conduct such as severe paranoia, not sleeping for days, pulling apart their home fireplace, and believing that a tracking chip was implanted into his leg during reconstructive knee surgery.

Ferguson’s wife, on the other hand, did not allege any sort of abuse or violence from Ferguson and maintains that the restraining order was filed as a preventative measure to obtain Ferguson the appropriate care for his mental health. Ferguson’s wife dropped the restraining order in April 2019, and it was stated that Ferguson would resume fighting.

Ferguson is known as one of MMA’s most outlandish characters. He built his own specialised training apparatus at his home in Big Bear Lake, California, and publishes videos of his unique exercises on his personal Instagram page on a daily basis.

Smacking his arms and legs against metal poles to increase bone strength, tossing baseballs off a pitcher’s mound to build power for right-hand punches, swinging a hammer while balanced on a gym ball, and somersault jumps over tall stacks of gym mats are among his exercises.

Fellow fighters have frequently commented on Ferguson’s unconventional practises, and some, like Belal Muhammad, have even imitated Ferguson’s training films on their own personal social media profiles. Ferguson has stated on Twitter that he avoids sparring in training because it “finds it limits my creativity” when fighting.

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
31 matches25 wins6 losses
By knockout121
By submission81
By decision54

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