Tony Ferguson Looks to Turn the Page From Villain to Role Model

Written by Tom Ngo
September 23rd, 2011

UFC Welterweight Tony Ferguson

Reality television isn’t supposed to be scripted, so what you see is typically what you get. Unfortunately for Tony Ferguson, his inexcusable actions on “The Ultimate Fighter 13” were all caught on tape.

Since taking the TUF 13 tournament this past June, the 27-year-old is now on a mission to not only showcase his skills inside the Octagon, but prove to the entire world he’s not that despicable guy everyone thought he was during his tenure on the show.

“I was fighting myself the whole entire time in the house,” Ferguson admitted to 5thRound.com. “Every opponent that I had in there, it wasn’t just somebody else. I was battling through every little thing that ever happened in my life.

“I grew up in Michigan. My father, I [just] met him a couple of years ago, so I know what it’s like to kinda grow up angry and I know a lot of kids have a lot of questions about things, especially what I said on the show. I was very angry growing up.”

After disposing of Ryan McGillivray to advance to the semifinals, Ferguson and his fellow castmates participated in some drunken debauchery. Charlie Rader decided to pour alcohol on Ferguson’s head, and that’s when things turned ugly.

Ferguson retaliated by commenting on the issues Rader was having with his son, which caused the entire house to turn against him.

Although Ferguson subsequently apologized to Rader, the low blow continues to haunt him to this day. However, “El Cucuy” is looking to turn that negative into a positive by reaching out to youngsters that might be growing up in the same predicament he did.

“The one thing I want to do is, I want to do a big brother thing back at home in Oxnard in Ventura, [California],” Ferguson stated. “I hope that I can go and talk to these kids that are angry, that don’t have that older person to look up to. And that’s where I’m gonna start.

“As far as where it goes from there, I hope people can look at that and be like, ‘You know what? This kid isn’t that villain.’ I’m not that guy. I’ll tell them until I’m blue in the face, to tell them that I’m not that person. But I would rather show them instead of talk.”

Ferguson breaks in his new six-figure contract this Saturday when he meets Aaron Riley at UFC 135.

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