Tony Ferguson

Last updated

Tony Ferguson
Tony Ferguson 2019.jpg
Tony Ferguson in 2019
BornAnthony Armand Ferguson Padilla
(1984-02-12) February 12, 1984 (age 37)
Oxnard, California, U.S.
Nickname(s)El Cucuy
NationalityAmerican
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight155 lb (70 kg; 11 st 1 lb)
Division Lightweight
Welterweight
Reach76 12 in (194 cm) [1]
Stance Orthodox
Fighting out of Ventura, California, U.S.
TrainerBoxing: Rashad Holloway, Joseph Janik (Former)
Muay Thai: Billy Fonua
Jiu-Jitsu: Eddie Bravo, Ricardo "Franjinha" Miller (Former) [2]
RankBlack belt in 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu under Eddie Bravo [3]
Wrestling NCWA Wrestling [4]
Years active2008–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total30
Wins25
By knockout12
By submission8
By decision5
Losses5
By knockout1
By submission1
By decision3
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Anthony Armand Ferguson Padilla [5] (born February 12, 1984) is an American professional mixed martial artist. He currently competes in the Lightweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He is a former Interim UFC Lightweight Champion. Ferguson has been competing professionally since 2008, and has been with the UFC since he won The Ultimate Fighter 13 . In addition to his wrestling background, Ferguson has also trained boxing, jiu-jitsu, [2] muay thai, [6] and wing chun. [7] As of December 24, 2020, he is #5 in the UFC men's lightweight rankings. [8]

Contents

Early life

Ferguson was born in Oxnard, California, on February 12, 1984, but grew up mainly in Muskegon, Michigan. He is of Mexican heritage. His surname of Ferguson comes from his Scottish American stepfather. [9] [10]

Ferguson was a three-sport athlete at Muskegon Catholic Central High School in American football, baseball, and wrestling. He was the starting defensive back for the 2000 Division 8 state football champions and was a three-time All-State selection in wrestling, winning the 152-lb division in 2002.

After high school, Ferguson enrolled at Central Michigan University before transferring to Grand Valley State University. He also did a stint at Muskegon Community College. He did not complete his degree, but had a successful collegiate wrestling career, winning the 2006 National Collegiate Wrestling Association national wrestling championship in the 165-lb division. [4]

Following college, Ferguson moved back to California to be closer to his extended family, working in marketing and sales during the day and picking up shifts as a bartender at night. One night, while working a bar shift, a patron noticed Ferguson's cauliflower ear and struck up a conversation about his wrestling background. The patron was a trainer at a local MMA gym and invited him to work with some young mixed martial artists on their wrestling. Shortly after this, he decided to pursue a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

Mixed martial arts career

Early career

Ferguson began his professional MMA career fighting in small organizations around California in 2007. Notable matches in his early career include a win over kickboxing champion Joe Schilling and a loss to future World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) fighter Karen Darabedyan.

The Ultimate Fighter

Ferguson applied to compete in the UFC's reality series The Ultimate Fighter multiple times. In 2010, he was finally accepted to compete in season 13 of the series after amassing a 10-2 professional record and winning the welterweight championship in PureCombat. He competed as a welterweight on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos .

Ferguson was selected as the third pick for Team Lesnar. In his first fight, Ferguson defeated Justin Edwards by knockout in the first round. He next faced Ryan McGillivray in the quarterfinals and won by a TKO in the first round. He then faced Chuck O'Neil in the semifinals and won by TKO in the third round to advance to the final.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Ferguson officially made his UFC debut at the Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale against Ramsey Nijem to determine the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 13. Ferguson defeated Nijem by knockout in the first round to win a UFC contract. He also received the Knockout of the Night bonus.

Following his debut, Ferguson returned to lightweight and faced Aaron Riley on September 24, 2011, at UFC 135. The fight was stopped after the first round after Riley said he had a broken jaw, resulting in a TKO victory for Ferguson. [11]

Ferguson then faced MMA veteran Yves Edwards at the Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale. [12] Ferguson won via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, and 29–28).

Ferguson was expected to face Dennis Hallman on May 5, 2012, at UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller. [13] However, Hallman was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Thiago Tavares. [14] Then, Tavares was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Michael Johnson. [15] Ferguson lost the fight by unanimous decision. [16]

After over a year away from competition while healing an arm injury incurred in his last fight, Ferguson returned to face Mike Rio on October 19, 2013, at UFC 166. [17] He won by D'Arce choke submission in the first round. The win also earned him his first Submission of the Night award. [18]

Ferguson faced Katsunori Kikuno on May 24, 2014, at UFC 173. [19] He won the fight by knockout in the first round.

Ferguson was expected to face Danny Castillo on August 2, 2014, at UFC 176. [20] However, after UFC 176 was cancelled, Castillo/Ferguson was rescheduled and took place on August 30, 2014, at UFC 177. [21] Ferguson won the fight via split decision.

Ferguson faced Abel Trujillo on December 6, 2014, at UFC 181. [22] Ferguson won the bout in the second round by submission.

Ferguson was expected to face Yancy Medeiros on February 28, 2015, at UFC 184. [23] However, Medeiros pulled out of the bout, citing injury, and was replaced by Gleison Tibau. [24] Ferguson won the fight by submission in the first round which also earned him a Performance of the Night bonus. [25]

Ferguson faced Josh Thomson on July 15, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 71. [26] He won the fight via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, and 30–26) and earned his second straight Performance of the Night bonus. [27] [28]

Ferguson was expected to face Khabib Nurmagomedov on December 11, 2015, at the Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale. [29] However, Nurmagomedov pulled out of the fight in late October, citing injury, and was replaced by Edson Barboza. [30] After a back-and-forth first round that had Ferguson docked one point due to an illegal upkick, Ferguson finished Barboza with a D'Arce choke submission in the second round. [31] He earned his third consecutive Performance of the Night bonus as well as a Fight of the Night bonus. [32]

A rematch with Michael Johnson was briefly scheduled for March 5, 2016, at UFC 196. [33] However, on January 27, it was announced that Johnson withdrew from the bout due to injury. In turn, the bout with Nurmagomedov was rescheduled and expected take place on April 16, 2016, at UFC on Fox 19. [34] On April 5, Ferguson pulled out of the bout due to a lung issue. [35] He was replaced by promotional newcomer Darrell Horcher. [36]

Ferguson was expected to face Michael Chiesa on July 13, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 91. [37] However, Chiesa pulled out of the fight on June 27, citing injury, and was replaced by promotional newcomer Lando Vannata. [38] [39] Ferguson won his second straight fight via D'Arce choke and was awarded another Fight of the Night bonus. [40] [41]

Ferguson fought former champion Rafael dos Anjos on November 5, 2016, at the Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 Finale. [42] He won the fight by unanimous decision. Both participants were awarded Fight of the Night, which gave Ferguson his sixth post-fight bonus in his past five fights. [43] [44]

The pairing with Nurmagomedov was scheduled for a third time at UFC 209, this time for the interim UFC Lightweight Championship. [45] However, prior to the weigh-ins for the event, Nurmagomedov was hospitalized due to the ill effects of his weight cut, and the bout was cancelled yet again. [46]

Ferguson faced Kevin Lee on October 7, 2017, at UFC 216 for the interim UFC Lightweight Championship. He won the bout by triangle choke submission in the third round. [47] [48]

A bout with Nurmagomedov had been scheduled for the fourth time on April 7, 2018, at UFC 223. [49] However, on April 1, 2018, Ferguson reportedly tore his fibular collateral ligament while walking on the set for a pre-fight media obligation and was forced to withdraw from the event. [50] [51]

Ferguson faced Anthony Pettis on October 6, 2018, at UFC 229. [52] He won the bout via corner stoppage after two rounds. Pettis' longtime cornerman and coach, Duke Roufus, informed the referee that he would not continue after suffering a broken hand. [53] Their performance earned both participants Fight of the Night honors. [54]

Ferguson next faced Donald Cerrone on June 8, 2019, at UFC 238. [55] He won the fight via TKO due to a doctor stoppage after Cerrone blew his nose between rounds 2 & 3 which caused his swollen right eye to completely close, rendering him unable to continue. [56] This fight earned both participants Fight of the Night honors. [57]

Ferguson was scheduled to face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC Lightweight Championship on April 18, 2020 at UFC 249, but after Nurmagomedov was unable to leave Russia due to restricted air travel as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, [58] Ferguson then agreed to compete for the Interim UFC Lightweight Championship against a late replacement in Justin Gaethje at the event. [59] However, on April 9, Dana White, the president of UFC announced that this event was postponed [60] and the bout eventually took place on May 9, 2020. [61] He lost the fight via TKO in the fifth round. [62] This fight earned both participants Fight of the Night honors. [63]

Ferguson faced Charles Oliveira on December 12, 2020 at UFC 256. [64] He lost the fight via unanimous decision. [65]

Ferguson is expected to face Beneil Dariush on May 15, 2021 at UFC 262. [66]

Personal life

Ferguson has a son, Armand Anthony, with his wife, Cristina Ferguson. [67] In March 2019, Cristina filed a restraining order against Ferguson, alleging uncharacteristic behavior such as severe paranoia, not sleeping for days, tearing apart their home fireplace, and believing that a tracking chip was inserted into his leg during reconstructive knee surgery. Ferguson's wife, however, did not claim any form of abuse or violence from Ferguson, and claims that she filed the restraining order as a precautionary measure to get Ferguson the necessary help for his mental state. [68] [69] In April 2019, Ferguson's wife had dropped the restraining order, and it was revealed that Ferguson would resume fighting. [70]

Ferguson is known as one of MMA's most eccentric personalities. [71] He has constructed his own custom training apparatus at his house in Big Bear Lake, California and regularly posts videos of his unique workouts on his personal Instagram page. These include smacking his arms and legs against metal poles to build bone strength, throwing baseballs off a pitchers' 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. [72] [73] Fellow fighters have regularly commented on these unorthodox routines, and other fighters such as Belal Muhammad have even parodied Ferguson's training videos on their own personal social media pages. [74] Ferguson has written on his Twitter account that he eschews sparring in training as he "finds it limits my creativity" when fighting. [75]

Championships and accomplishments

Amateur wrestling

Mixed martial arts

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
30 matches25 wins5 losses
By knockout121
By submission81
By decision53
Res.RecordOpponentMethodEventDateRoundTimeLocationNotes
Loss25–5 Charles Oliveira Decision (unanimous) UFC 256 December 12, 202035:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss25–4 Justin Gaethje TKO (punch) UFC 249 May 9, 202053:39 Jacksonville, Florida, United StatesFor the interim UFC Lightweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win25–3 Donald Cerrone TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC 238 June 8, 201925:00 Chicago, Illinois, United StatesFight of the Night.
Win24–3 Anthony Pettis TKO (corner stoppage) UFC 229 October 6, 201825:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesFight of the Night.
Win23–3 Kevin Lee Submission (triangle choke) UFC 216 October 7, 201734:02 Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesWon the interim UFC Lightweight Championship. Later stripped of the title due to injury.
Win22–3 Rafael dos Anjos Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 Finale: dos Anjos vs. Ferguson November 5, 201655:00 Mexico City, MexicoFight of the Night.
Win21–3 Lando Vannata Submission (Brabo choke) UFC Fight Night: McDonald vs. Lineker July 13, 201622:22 Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United StatesFight of the Night.
Win20–3 Edson Barboza Submission (Brabo choke) The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber Finale December 11, 201522:54 Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesPerformance of the Night. Fight of the Night.
Win19–3 Josh Thomson Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Mir vs. Duffee July 15, 201535:00 San Diego, California, United StatesPerformance of the Night.
Win18–3 Gleison Tibau Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 184 February 28, 201512:37 Los Angeles, California, United StatesPerformance of the Night.
Win17–3 Abel Trujillo Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 181 December 6, 201424:19 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win16–3 Danny Castillo Decision (split) UFC 177 August 30, 201435:00 Sacramento, California, United States
Win15–3 Katsunori Kikuno KO (punch) UFC 173 May 24, 201414:06 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win14–3 Mike Rio Submission (Brabo choke) UFC 166 October 19, 201311:52 Houston, Texas, United StatesSubmission of the Night.
Loss13–3 Michael Johnson Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller May 5, 201235:00 East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States
Win13–2 Yves Edwards Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller Finale December 3, 201135:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win12–2 Aaron Riley TKO (jaw injury) UFC 135 September 24, 201115:00 Denver, Colorado, United StatesReturn to Lightweight.
Win11–2 Ramsey Nijem KO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos Finale June 4, 201113:54 Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesWon The Ultimate Fighter 13 Welterweight tournament. Knockout of the Night.
Win10–2Brock JardineTKO (punches)PureCombat 12: Champions for ChildrenSeptember 25, 201042:35 Clovis, California, United StatesWon the vacant PureCombat Welterweight Championship. [78]
Win9–2David GardnerTKO (punches)CA Fight Syndicate: Battle of the 805March 26, 201020:27 Ventura, California, United StatesCatchweight (158 lb) bout.
Win8–2Chris KennedyTKO (doctor stoppage)National Fight Alliance MMA: ResurrectionDecember 18, 200912:29 Ventura, California, United States
Loss7–2Jamie ToneySubmission (triangle choke)National Fight Alliance MMA: MMA at the Hyatt 3October 16, 200912:15 Westlake Village, California, United States
Win7–1James FanshierDecision (unanimous)Rebel FighterJuly 17, 200935:00 Placerville, California, United States
Win6–1Devin BenjaminTKO (punches and elbows)National Fight Alliance MMA: MMA at the Hyatt IIMay 28, 200910:51 Westlake Village, California, United States
Win5–1Daniel HernandezTKO (punches)National Fight Alliance MMA: Riot at the HyattMarch 5, 200912:22 Westlake Village, California, United StatesReturn to Welterweight.
Loss4–1 Karen Darabedyan Decision (unanimous)All Star Boxing: Caged in the CannonFebruary 6, 200933:00 Montebello, California, United StatesLightweight debut.
Win4–0Frank ParkSubmission (neck crank)Long Beach Fight Night 3January 4, 200912:43 Long Beach, California, United States
Win3–0 Joe Schilling Submission (rear-naked choke)Total Fighting Alliance 12September 13, 200822:12 Long Beach, California, United States
Win2–0Brandon AdamsTKO (punches)Total Fighting Alliance 11: Pounding at the PyramidJuly 12, 200822:18 Long Beach, California, United States
Win1–0Steve AvalosTKO (submission to punches)California Xtreme Fighting: Anarchy at the ArenaApril 12, 200821:25 Upland, California, United States

[79]

Res.RecordOpponentMethodEventDateRoundTimeLocationNotes
Win3–0 Chuck O'Neil TKO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter 13 June 1, 2011 (airdate)33:10 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States The Ultimate Fighter 13 Semi-Final round.
Win2–0Ryan McGillivrayTKO (punches)May 25, 2011 (airdate)10:46 The Ultimate Fighter 13 Quarter-Final round.
Win1–0 Justin Edwards KO (upkick)May 4, 2011 (airdate)13:56 The Ultimate Fighter 13 Preliminary round.

Pay-per-view bouts (headlining)

EventFightDateVenueCityPPV buys
UFC 216 Ferguson vs. LeeOctober 7, 2017 T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S200,000 [80]
UFC 249 Ferguson vs. GaethjeMay 9, 2020 VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.700,000 [81]
Total sales900,000

See also

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Achievements
New title 1st UFC Interim Lightweight Champion
October 7, 2017 - April 7, 2018
Stripped
Incumbent