I have known Josh “Taz” Ferguson for a long time. I even announced his first mixed martial arts fight. Back then he was just a kid with potential, but now he’s a man with a future.
Since his run on The Ultimate Fighter 14 reality show Josh has been busy transforming himself. He made the journey to train with Greg Jackson’s camp, and has made the most of it in his preparation for his July 11th bout with Chris Cariaso on UFC on Fuel TV: Munoz vs. Weidman.
“I had friends there. Me and Diego Brandao and John Dodson have always been friends, but we got closer as the show progressed. They both ended up winning the show. That’s saying something there for wherever they are training”, Taz said.
Ferguson is relying on John Dodson as one of the keys to victory.
“Dodson is a perfect match for my opponent Chris Cariaso. They’re both 5’3” and they are both southpaws. They are both good kickboxers so Dodson’s a perfect training partner. I figured this would be the perfect spot for training. The altitude helps get my cardio where it needs to be to be ready for a long hard fight if it comes”.
Taz has always been quiet and a bit reserved. The move to Jackson’s has changed that somewhat.
“I’m not a big attention guy”, Ferguson joked. “I’ve never sought attention. I like to sit in the back and if people come up to me I love talking to them. If they want to give me attention I will soak it up. I like talking to people. Being at Jackson’s will change you. It’s just like going to Hollywood to hang out with all of the celebrities all of the time. I feel like I’m one of these guys out here now. It helps your confidence out a lot, especially when you’re from Kentucky and you’re fighting in a big show like the UFC. All of the guys here are at the big shows. You’re running with the guys and training with the guys. It takes nerves out of the picture”.
One of the bonuses of being in a top level camp is never knowing who might walk through the front door. Josh recently had a very unique experience while wrapping up a training session.
“I was in the gym and just got finished working out, and walked down the steps. I’m just sitting there and these huge body guards walk in. LL Cool J walks in to do a private lesson with Greg Jackson. I got to hang out and workout with him a little. I talked to his personal trainer a lot on workout tips”.
After the workout Josh got another surprise.
“When he was leaving he gave us backstage passes to the show. We went to the show that night and it was crazy. We hung out with him while he was getting ready for the show. We were the only ones back there. His personal trainer actually brought me on stage while LL was up there doing his thing. It was nuts. It was a once in a lifetime experience. They just treated us like one of them, just like we were no different”.
Taz and his family are the classic old-school family model. They still believe in the golden rule and back each other up at all times. Throughout his career his brother BJ Ferguson, also a participant in TUF Season 14, has been in his corner and pushing him to excel.
“I still train with my brother BJ a lot”, Taz said. “Whenever I’m home we train everyday. We train at Eric Haycraft’s and Derby City whenever we don’t have to work or crazy stuff like that. We work together and are together every single day”.
Taz’s father Bruce has been the support base for the brothers their entire lives and Josh is grateful for that.
“He’s never been the type of dad to pressure us. He tells you that you can excel past others and past where we currently are. He instilled in us a good work ethic and the desire to progress constantly. He loves seeing us succeed and has been supportive of us in the fight game. We love being around people and how they look up to us not because they look up to us though. We just want to share what we have done with others and then they come hang out with us. I just love him to death and always want to make him proud. He’s the biggest part of our success. He and mom are still so much in love and I couldn’t ask for better parents. They raised me right”.
Chris Cariaso is his next opponent and his camp has helped him to focus and prepare for this one. Right now Josh is at the peak of his training and feels he can compete on any level.
“I’ve been training hard as hell. Greg and the guys keep you on track and help you train. I feel excellent. I’ve never felt this good in my life. I’ve never had cardio and confidence like I do now. I’ll go five rounds with this guy if he wants me to. I will go hard the whole time. My muscles and body are in great shape and my weight is perfect. I’m ready to get in there and f*** this guy up. He better keep his hands up because I’m ready to bang”.Tags: "bj Penn", Josh Ferguson, mma, MMA NEWS, Taz, ufc, ufc news, UFC on Fuel