6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) / 155 lb (70 kg; 11 st 1 lb) / Lightweight
One of the most entertaining and unorthodox fighters in UFC history, Tony Ferguson is considered by many as one of the elite lightweights. It was hard for his opponents to prepare against Ferguson as no one can predict or replicate what he does inside the Octagon.
The Ultimate Fighter Winner
Tony Ferguson entered the UFC as an Ultimate fighter contestant which was coached by Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos. Ferguson was the third pick for Team Lesnar, and he went on to beat everyone, making him the Ultimate Fighter winner.
Even during his run, Ferguson was already a creative striker. In his first fight, Ferguson landed an up-kick from his back that knocked Justin Edwards out.
After winning TUF, he went on to beat Aaron Riley and an MMA legend like Yves Edward.
His first UFC loss was against Michael Johnson, where he suffered an injured elbow in the first round that made him less dangerous. Not to take away from what Johnson did as he actually had one of the fastest hands in the lightweight division.
After suffering his first loss, Ferguson went on to become better and started his historic win streak. Ferguson was not a popular fighter among the casuals so in turn needed to climb the rankings with no special treatment.
His first opponent, Mike Rio where Ferguson locked in his favorite submission which is he became known for later in his career. The D’arce choke is a rare choke in the UFC, and Ferguson managed to land in just his 5th fight.
Ferguson then faced Japanese fighter, Katsunori Kikuno at UFC 173 and managed to knock him out in just one round.
At UFC 177, Ferguson faced Danny Castillo and managed to edge out a split decision win.
Following that Ferguson fought at UFC 181 against Abel Trujillo and finished the fight via rear-naked choke in the second round.
Just a few months later, Ferguson wanted to stay active and faced Gleison Tibau, and this time finished the fight via rear-naked choke but this time, in under one round. Ferguson was awarded performance of the night.
The Boogeyman of the Division
Since Ferguson did not suffer major injuries and was willing to fight anyone, he was scheduled to fight AKA fighter, Josh Thompson. Ferguson demolished Thompson, it was a brutal beatdown. After the fight, Thompson got beat so badly that he had to rethink his career as an MMA fighter. UFC also gave Ferguson a performance of the night bonus
Signature move: The D’arce Choke
Ferguson was then booked for TUF 22 against elite strike Edson Barboza. Ferguson secured his second D’arce choke in the second round. Another performance of the night win.
In his next fight, it was against Lando Vannata. He got stunned but eventually survived and what made it impressive was he secured another D’arce choke against Vannata.
Ferguson vs Dos Anjos
Ferguson was already 8 fight win-streak and most got fight bonus, UFC gave him a former UFC lightweight champion, Rafael Dos Anjos, and dominated most of the fight. Ferguson was just hard to read.
Interim Lightweight Champion
Too many pullouts from Khabib vs Ferguson fight, and at that time McGregor was the champion but was focused on his boxing fight with Mayweather. The UFC booked an interim title fight for Ferguson vs Kevin Lee.
In the early parts, it was even both fighters landed great shots, Lee even took Ferguson down. The problem was Lee doesn’t possess the cardio that Ferguson has and even when taken down, Ferguson managed to land vicious elbows. Ferguson attempted an armbar but Lee managed to escape.
It was a matter of time that Ferguson locked a triangle choke that stopped the fight. Ferguson became the interim-lightweight champion that night and called out McGregor.
McGregor was later stripped of his title and the UFC booked Ferguson vs Khabib for the undisputed crown but a week prior to the fight, Ferguson tripped on a cable that left him unable to fight.
The comeback of El Cucuy
Khabib became the undisputed champion and Ferguson focused on recovering fast to fight for the title. Unfortunately, McGregor was given the title shot and Ferguson had no choice but to fight Anthony Pettis as the co-main event for UFC 229.
Ferguson was coming off a major injury and many were questioning whether his body is ready to fight. Ferguson did not look slow but got clipped in the second round. Fortunately, he survived and even landed a spinning elbow that left Pettis with a cut. The corner of Pettis decided that they would not continue after the second round.
At UFC 238, Ferguson faced Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. The fight was pretty much Cerrone absorbing all that Ferguson threw. At the end of the second round, Ferguson landed a shot a bit later than when the bell ended the fight, it was a bit controversial because Cerrone’s eye ballooned up that he wasn’t able to see. At the replay, it showed that the last shot that Ferguson landed was not to the eye.
There were rumors that the UFC wanted to book an interim title fight for Poirier vs Ferguson but Ferguson did not want to since he felt like he did not lose his interim, so why should he fight for one again. Poirier vs Holloway was booked instead.
Downfall of Ferguson
The UFC finally tried to book Khabib vs Tony fight for the fifth time, but the pandemic happened and the country had a lockdown. Gaethje stepped in for Khabib’s place and the Gaethje vs Ferguson fight happened. The fight was a beatdown as Gaethje just landed bombs that the referee had no choice to stop the fight.
When Gaethje ended the 12 fight win streak, Ferguson was never the same. In his next outing, he faced Charles Oliveira and got taken down easily. He looked slow and sluggish, and Oliveira was like the young lion that was ready to become the next champion.
The latest fight that Ferguson took was against Beneil Dariush. It seems that Ferguson just doesn’t have that speed and reflex that he once used to have. He got dominated by Dariush in all three rounds. Many are questioning whether he should retire or not.