- Given Name: Anthony A. Padilla-Ferguson
- Pro MMA Record: 24-3-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
- Nickname: El Cucuy
- Current Streak: 11 Wins
- Age: 35 | Date of Birth: 1984.02.12
- Last Fight: October 06, 2018 in UFC
- Weight Class: Lightweight | Last Weigh-In: 155.0 lbs
- Affiliation: Knuckleheadz Boxing
- Height: 6'0" (183cm) | Reach: 76.0" (193cm)
- Career Disclosed Earnings: $1,487,000 USD
- Born: California, United States
- Fighting out of: Ventura, California
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Tony Ferguson was very athletic growing up earning 12 varsity letters in football, baseball and wrestling. He was on the 2002 state champion football team and was a three-time All-State selection in wrestling as well as winning the 152 pound division in 2002. He went on to wrestle in college and would be an All-American twice and win the national championship in the 165 pound division once. He was working at a bar when a patron invited him to join a MMA gym to help some of the people out with their wrestling. Ferguson fell in love with the sport and had his first fight in 2008. He would rack up a 10-2 record before trying out for the 13th season of the Ultimate Fighter that he would ultimately win with a Knockout of the Night over Ramsey Nijem.
Since winning the Ultimate Fighter Ferguson has gone 8-1 with wins over Aaron Riley at UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage via KO, Yves Edwards at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale via UD and a Submission of the Night victory over Mike Rio, at UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3. His only loss in the UFC was to Michael Johnson, at UFC on FOX 3: Diaz vs. Miller via UD.
Ferguson fought Katsunori Kikuno at UFC 173. Kikuno immediately came out strong in the opening round. With his opponent pushing the pace, Ferguson met this challenge and turned the fight a slugfest. Ferguson caught Kikuno and got him in a D'Arc choke. Kikuno was able to escape but Ferguson tagged him with a big right shorter after. This immediately knocked Kikuno out, giving the win to Ferguson via TKO at 4:06 in Round 1.
On 30 August, 2014 at UFC 177, Ferguson faced Danny Castillo. Ferguson won the fight via split. decision
Ferguson continued his hot streak when he faced Abel Trujillo, at UFC 181: Hendricks vs. Lawler 2. Trujillo was dominate in Round 1, rocking Ferguson several times and scoring some takedowns, but Ferguson weathered the storm and took control in Round 2 when Trujillo showed signs of tiring. After a battle up against the cage, late in the round, Ferguson was able to sink his arm under Trujillo's neck and secure a Rear-Naked Choke. Trujillo tapped out at 4:19.
At UFC 184: Rousey vs. Zingano, Ferguson showed us once again why everyone in the Lightweight division should be keeping an eye on him. Originally slated to fight Yancy Medeiros, but instead fought Gleison Tibau, due to Medeiros injuring his foot during training. The change-up made no difference to Ferguson who made short work of Tibau. Unlike his previous bout, Ferguson came out hard in Round 1, controlling the fight. He eventually rocked Tibau forcing him to turtle-up, Ferguson took advantage of this and locked in a Rear-Naked Choke. Tibau soon tapped at 2:37. His work earned him his first Performance of the Night bonus; that was his 3rd post-fight honours and 5th First Round victory in the UFC. After this victory Ferguson saw himself on the UFC Rankings for the first time, coming in ranked in 13th.
With a 5 fight win streak and a spot in the top 15, Ferguson was climbing the ranks and coming ever closer to getting into the conversation for a UFC title shot that had eluded him.
Following his win over longtime Lightweight Contender, El Cucuy was given a top contender in Josh Thomson in the co main event at UFC Fight Night 71 in San Diego. Expectations were high on El Cucuy as he came in the moderate favorite over Thomson at -265 and he did not disappoint. Ferguson would go on to have an absolute war with the former Strikeforce Champion that resulted in Ferguson picking up the unanimous decision victory and earning a $50,000 dollar Performance of the Night bonus as well.
Following his victory, El Cucuy was then scheduled to take on undefeated Lightweight phenom Khabib Nurmagomedov at the TUF 22 Finale, but Khabib would have to drop out of the bout due to lingering injuries. Instead, Ferguson was given Edson Barboza as his next opponent. Ferguson would again put on a highlight reel performance against one of the top lightweights in the division as he would go on to submit Barboza via D'Arce Choke in the Second Round earning himself bonus money in back to back fights as a result of beating another top contender in the division, firmly putting him in title fight contention talk.
Despite this, any talk of a title shot in the immediate future was turned down due to Ferguson and Nurmagomedov not deciding who was the definitive contender between the two. Instead, El Cucuy began preparation for a fight with Michael Johnson at UFC 196 only for the bout to get scrapped due to Johnson withdrawing. From there, preparations for another attempt at making Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson popped up again when the two were booked as the main event for UFC on Fox 19 in Tampa. This time, however, it would be Ferguson that had to pull out due to injury and getting replaced by Darrell Horcher.
Following his recovery from injury and another missed opportunity to fight Khabib, Ferguson began training to fight Michael Chiesa at UFC Fight Night 91 in Sioux Falls only to run into more bad luck as Chiesa had to pull out due to a back injury. Ferguson would not be pulled off the card, however, as he faced a last second replacement in regional lightweight prospect Lando Vannata. Initially taking his opponent lightly, Vannata quickly earned El Cucuy's respect after he had the top lightweight contender on the ropes in the first round. Ferguson, however, would regain focus and ultimately finish the promising newcomer in the Second Round via submission by D'Arce Choke, which increased his win streak to eight.
El Cucuy would then be squared off with another top shelf contender for the first time since his fight with Barboza as he would take on former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 98 in Mexico City. In the build up to the fight, Ferguson and RDA served as coaches on the third installment of TUF Latin America 3. In what would be considered as a closely contested and technical fight, Ferguson would come away with a big decision victoy over the former champion in what many considered to finally his signature victory to earn a title shot at then champion Conor McGregor.
However, this would not be the case as the UFC considered Khabib to have as much of a claim to the #1 contender title as El Cucuy following his domination of Michael Johnson. So, once again, both Nurmagomedov and Ferguson were scheduled to face off, this time at UFC 209. Unfortunately, the bout would once again fall through due to weight cutting issues for Khabib.
With impatience growing with both Ferguson and the UFC over him getting a chance at the belt, due to Conor taking time out to do other business ventures and fighting in Pro Boxing, Ferguson was finally put in a title bout with Kevin Lee at UFC 216; albeit an interim title bout. Ferguson would go on to win the fight via submission, earning his first title in the UFC and putting himself in a prime opportunity to fight McGregor.
This would not come to pass as McGregor's hiatus from MMA got to the point where Dana White and the UFC ultimately had to strip him of the title and announced that Tony Ferguson would be fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov to fight for the Undisputed title at UFC 223 in Brooklyn. However, injury would once again prevent this fight from going through as Tony would suffer a knee ligament injury that would cause him to pull out of the bout and be stripped of his interim title.
At UFC 229 Ferguson faced Anthony Pettis. In the fight, Ferguson was dropped but recovered quickly. Tony Ferguson outstruck Anthony Pettis, landing 115 significant strikes to Pettis' 49 significant strikes. During the fight Anthony Pettis broke his hand, and during the resting period after the second round his corner decided to throw in the corner. This awarded Tony Ferguson the victory, advancing his record to 24 wins and 3 losses.
The Ultimate Fighter 13
Episode 6 Ferguson def. Justin Edwards by KO (Upkick) at 3:56 of Round 1
Episode 9 Ferguson def. Ryan McGillivray by TKO (Punches) at 0:46 of Round 1
Episode 10 Ferguson def. Chuck O'Neil by TKO (Punches) at 3:10 of Round 3
The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale Ferguson def. Ramsey Nijem by TKO (Punches) at 3:54 of Round 1