Tony Ferguson Biography

Tony Ferguson, a professional mixed martial artist, has been a prominent figure in the lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship since 2011. With a Mexican father and a Scottish-American stepfather who played a crucial role in his career, Tony’s journey has been shaped by the guidance of his loved ones. From his early days of wrestling in school to his rapid rise as a mixed martial artist on the West Coast, he has earned the nickname El Cucuy and established himself as a force to be reckoned with. Alongside renowned trainers, Tony has developed his own training methods, contributing to his impressive record of 25 wins out of 32 appearances and substantial bonus earnings.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Anthony Armand Ferguson Padilla
  • Age: 39 Years, 39 Year Old Males
  • Family: Spouse/Ex-: Cristina Servin (m. 2012), children: Armand Anthony
  • Born Country: United States
  • Mixed Martial Artists
  • American Men
  • Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), 6’0″ Males
  • Notable Alumni: Grand Valley State University
  • U.S. State: California
  • More Facts
  • Education: Grand Valley State University

Childhood & Early Life

Tony Ferguson Padilla was born on February 12, 1984 in Oxnard, California. Nothing is known about his biological father except that he was of Mexican heritage. Soon after his birth, his mother married Armand Ferguson, a bar owner of American-Scottish heritage, who gave Tony his surname.

When Tony was still a child, his family moved to Muskegon, Michigan, where he had his schooling at Muskegon Catholic Central High School. Because he was a shy child, his stepfather involved him in sports and encouraged by him Tony soon took up American football, baseball and wrestling.

In 2000, he participated in the Division 8 State Football Championship, playing as a defensive back. He was also selected for the MHSAA Division IV All-State Championship thrice from 2000 to 2002, ultimately winning the title in the 152-lb division in 2002.

On graduating from school, he entered Central Michigan University; but soon took transfer to Muskegon Community College before switching to the Grand Valley State University. During this period, he also changed his major twice; switching from Physical Therapy to Criminal Justice and finally to Nursing.

Although he was undecided about his future and changed his college and major twice, he was steadfast about wrestling, becoming NCWA National Champion in the 165-lb division in 2006. In 2006 and 2007, he participated in the North Central Conference Championship.

For some reason, he did not wait to complete his education; but moved back to California in 2007, where his extended family lived. There he worked as a salesman during the daytime and as a bartender during the evening.

While serving as a bartender one evening, he was noticed by one of the patrons, who happened to be a trainer at a local MMA gym. The gentleman had noticed his cauliflower ear, which is caused when fluid is collected under the perichondrium due to an injury in the external ear.

Soon, the two began to talk, in course of which the trainer invited Ferguson to work with some young mixed martial artists in his gym. Shortly after this, he decided to pursue mixed martial arts (MMA) as a career option.

Early Career

In 2007, Tony Ferguson began his professional MMA career fighting in small organizations around California. On April 12, 2008, he had his first professional win, beating Steve Avalos in an event organized by California Xtreme Fighting: Anarchy at the Arena. It was followed by another win in July.

On September 13, 2008, he had his first major win when he beat kickboxing champion Joe Schilling in Total Fighting Alliance event, held in Long Beach. It was followed by another win against Frank Park.

On February 6, 2009, he suffered his first professional defeat, losing to Karen Darabedyan in an All Star Boxing: Caged in the Cannon event held in Montebello. Thereafter, he went through a winning spree, losing only one match against Jamie Toney on October 16, 2009.

Meanwhile, he continued to apply for competing in the UFC’s reality series, The Ultimate Fighter; but did not get any response until he won the welterweight championship in PureCombat. It was only after he amassed a 10–2 professional record that he was allowed to compete in The Ultimate Fighter.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Selected as a welterweight for Team Lesnar by The Ultimate Fighter, Tony Ferguson had to defeat Justin Edwards, Ryan McGillivray, and Chuck O’Neil to secure his place in the final. On June 4, 2011, he made his official debut with The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos Finale.

The competition, also known as The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale, saw him defeating Ramsey Nijem by a knockout in the first round. It not only earned him a UFC contract, but he also received the Knockout of the Night bonus.

After the win against Ramsey Nijem, Ferguson returned to lightweight, facing Aaron Riley on September 24, 2011 at UFC 135, winning the match by TKO after only one round. On December 3, 2011, he snatched another victory; this time defeating MMA veteran Yves Edwards at the Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale.

On May 5, 2012, he lost the first match at UFC l (third in his professional career), losing to Michael Johnson by unanimous decision at UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller, held in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Thereafter, he had to stay away from competitions for around a year, healing from an arm injury.

On October 19, 2013, he returned to the ring, defeating Mike Rio at UFC 166 by D’Arce choke submission in the first round, earning his first Submission of the Night award. After that he took another break for around seven months.

In 2014, he appeared in three matches, winning all of them. The first one was against Katsunori Kikuno, which he won on May 24 by KO at UFO 173. Next, he defeated Danny Castillo by decision on August 30 at UFO 177 and Abel Trujillo by submission on December 6 at UFO 184 (181)1.

Continuing with his winning spree, he fought and won three UFC matches in 2015, two in 2016, one in 2017, 2018 and 2019 each. Meanwhile, he also fought and defeated Kevin Lee by submission in a Pay-per-View bout marked as UFC 216: Ferguson Vs. Lee on October 7, 2017.

From May 2020 onwards, he entered a bad spell, losing each of the four matches— UFC 249, UFC 256, UFC 262 and UFC 274—he fought till May 2022. In addition, he also fought another Pay-per-View bout against Justin Gaethje on May 9, 2000, but was defeated in the fifth round by TKO.

MMA Records

As of June 2022, Ferguson has fought 32 Ultimate Fighting Championship matches, winning 25 of them. Out of the matches he won, 12 were by knockout, eight by submission and five by decision. Out of the seven matches he lost, two were by knockout, one by submission and four by decision.

Personal Life & Legacy

Sometime in June 2012, Tony Ferguson married Cristina Servin, whom he has credited with providing him with the much-needed support during his MMA career. The couple has a son, Armand Anthony, born on 28th April 2016.

In March 2019, Tony Ferguson suffered from severe paranoia, forcing his wife to file a restraining order against him so that she could get him help for his mental state. However, by April she withdrew the order and he resumed his fights.

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