Tony Ferguson is the former UFC interim lightweight champion. He was the winner on the thirteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter.
He most recently made his UFC debut in the reality show's finals against castmate Ramsey Nijem. He defeated Nijem via first-round knockout. After the victory, Ferguson called out UFC veteran Amir Sadollah.
He dropped to lightweight after knocking out Njiem and drew tough veteran Aaron Riley for his debut. Ferguson broke Riley's jaw in the first round, and the fight was stopped by doctors between the first and second rounds as a result.
Ferguson next signed to face veteran Yves Edwards. Ferguson defeated Edwards after an exciting unanimous decision. A few weeks after the victory, Ferguson was called out by another veteran: Jeremy Stephens. He instead next signed to face veteran Dennis Hallman.
Instead, Ferguson next signed to face another veteran Thiago Tavares. Tavares was injured and Ferguson ended up facing fellow TUF veteran Michael Johnson, losing a close decision to Johnson for his first UFC loss.
Ferguson next suffered a broken arm and was out since the Johnson fight in May 2012, nearly a year. Ferguson was officially back at the end of April 2013, calling himself an 'X-man.'
In July 2013, Ferguson signed to return against Mike Rio. He defeated Rio via a first round D'arce choke submission.
He next signed to fight Katsunori Kikuno. Ferguson defeated Kikuno via knockout near the end of the first round.
Ferguson then fought Danny Castillo defeating Castillo via a controversial and close split decision.
Ferguson then fought Abel Trujillo defeating Trujillo via rear-naked choke submission near the end of the second round.
Ferguson next rattled off four more victories in a row over former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson, contender Edson Barboza, newcomer - and late injury replacement for Michael Chiesa - Lando Vannata and former UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos... via unanimous decision, second round D'arce choke submission, second round D'arce choke submission and unanimous decision respectively. Ferguson was undoubtedly knocking on the door for a title shot.
He next signed to fight longtime rival Khabib Nurmagomedov with the winner being promised, at long last, a well-deserved shot at the UFC lightweight title now held by Conor McGregor. Indeed, as the bout further developed in its buildup, the UFC decided to put an interim lightweight title on the line. Unfortunately just before the weighins the day before the fight, Nurmagomedov was hospitalized from complications with his weight cut and the fight was cancelled.
Ferguson was inactive for several months after the bitter and frustrating cancellation and suspension of his momentum that he'd built up. Eventually, in August 2017, Ferguson signed to fight up-and-comer Kevin Lee, once more with the interim championship up for grabs.
Finally the Champion![edit | edit source]
Ferguson defeated a game and competitive Lee via a third round triangle choke submission after some early adversity. Ferguson then called out 'official' UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and told him to "vacate or defend" his title. All indications in the weeks following Ferguson's title victory pointed to McGregor being interested in a title unification fight with Ferguson.
Fights[edit | edit source]
- Tony Ferguson vs. Ramsey Nijem - The fight was the UFC debut of both men. The fight was to decide the winner of the thirteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter.
- Tony Ferguson vs. Aaron Riley - The fight was the UFC lightweight debut of TUF winner Ferguson. The fight was the second time that Aaron Riley's jaw had been broken.
- Tony Ferguson vs. Mike Rio
- Tony Ferguson vs. Abel Trujillo
- Tony Ferguson vs. Edson Barboza
- Tony Ferguson vs. Lando Vannata
- Justin Gaethje vs. Tony Ferguson - Justin Gaethje was a late replacement for lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was unable to fight due to visa issues with the coronavirus epidemic keeping him out of the United States. Instead, the fight between Tony Ferguson and Gaethje would be for the interim title, a title Ferguson had held before and been stripped of controversially. Ferguson suffered a broken orbital bone in the loss to Gaethje.