Streaking UFC lightweight contender Tony Ferguson is undoubtably one of the most ferocious fighters in the UFC. While Ferguson certainly possesses no fear when he is inside the Octagon, former UFC middleweight turned analyst Brian Stann believes that is the result of Ferguson’s uniquely difficult training.
This Saturday, Ferguson will be stepping into the Octagon to fight undefeated Dagestani lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the interim lightweight title, in a fight where Nurmagomedov promised to break Ferguson’s arm. Unsurprisingly, Ferguson didn’t miss a beat, promising ‘The Eagle’ that if he broke his arm, he would have no problem knocking his opponent out with the same arm.
Brian Stann spoke on Luke Thomas’ podcast for MMAFighting to discuss the situation, saying:
“I think it really goes all the way back to the way he trains every day, and then how that self-belief, and the way that he trains then manifests itself when he performs in the Octagon. A lot of people, at face value, look at Tony Ferguson, and they take his self-belief as arrogance, and it’s really not. When you truly get to know him, and I’ve called a couple of fights now and had the chance to dive in and talk to him about his training, talk to his coaches and training partners, he’s someone who does things very, very different. He embraces it. He’s not the type of guy who selects one head coach and then does whatever that person tells him to and allows that coach to maybe box them in on what their game plan or their style should be. He goes out there, and he grabs coaches and adopts them to his style and where he wants to be in the future and the things he wants to do, which is win. He wants to be the best striker, he wants to be the best grappler, he wants to be the best submission artist.”
“When you watch a lot of fights as both you and I do, typical fighters when things start to go wrong, you can start to sense when they’ve broken. It doesn’t mean that they’ve broken and they’re going to quit, right? Sometimes it means they’ve broken and they’ve accepted that they’re probably going to lose this fight, and they are just happy to go to decision. Sometimes it comes out and they just quit, and they want to get out of the Octagon as soon as possible.”
“With Tony Ferguson, that’s not even remotely close to happening ever.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/3/2017.