No matter how you feel about Tony Ferguson, whether you think he’s ‘weird’ or just don’t like him, you can admit that he’s just different. If he’s not in workout clothes, he’s dressed like he just walked out of The Continental hotel with a new tactical suit. And what’s the deal with the shades? Then, he starts talking. Conversation jumps from subject to subject, a metaphor might slip out and confuse you, it’s just like his fighting style: All over the place. When asked to comment on his opponent’s criticisms of his style, he spoke like we’re witnessing an evolution.
“It’s very intellectual. The reason why you guys say [my style]’s weird is because you don’t understand it. It’s f-cking genius. Let me tell you, it’s so far past your guys’ heads it’s not even funny, because this is the next stage in everybody’s evolution. I’ve been working on this since 2008; actually, before that. I said I had a double doctorate in athletics, I’m working on my triple.”
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) October 4, 2017
“You guys deserve a better me, man. I’m primed. I’m the best. But it’s hard when you’ve got a knucklehead like Kevin Lee that wants to just keep pushing that button. So for me, I have to be a captain of the team, and this guy wants my spot on that team. He wants that varsity spot. So I’m going to treat it like it’s a competition, not a fight. I’m going to go in there and give him a T.F. — an old Tony Ferguson technical fall. I’m going to outpoint him then I’m going to pin him. Whatever he’s going to think, if it’s the real lightweight title or whatever it is, this kid hasn’t earned the right to talk. Not one bit.” — Tony Ferguson to MMA Fighting.
It’s hard to say if Tony Ferguson is right, but an artist is never appreciated in their own time. Regardless of what comes to your mind when you watch El Cucuy breakdance, invent D’Arce choke neckbreakers, or fake a double leg and transition into an Imanari roll, the fact is no one else is doing it. We got a glimpse of what Tony Ferguson has to offer against former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, now we’ll get to see more in his biggest fight yet. Is Ferguson truly the new John Wick, or is this all too quick? Answers await at UFC 216 tonight.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/7/2017.