Tony Ferguson added his name to the list of ‘Ultimate Fighter’ champions on Saturday night, finishing former roommate Ramsey Nijem by first round TKO.
Sometimes villains can become heroes.
During the 13th season of the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ Tony Ferguson showed off his dark side after a late night drinking binge resulted in him verbally and physically assaulting his roommates with a hate filled tirade.
It’s one of those moments that Ferguson will live with forever, but realizing the wrong he had done, he’s since dedicated himself to being a better person, and he hoped to show that after winning the TUF 13 title.
So far Ferguson can chalk it up to mission accomplished.
Battling former roommate Ramsey Nijem in the finale, Ferguson knew he was going to have to fight off some strong takedowns, so he fired back with some offense of his own. It was Ferguson who snatched an early takedown, putting the thought of a ground battle in Nijem’s mind in the early going.
Ferguson says he picked up the strategy watching two potential future UFC hall of famers battle earlier this year.
“I knew he was going to try to take me down so just like B.J. Penn and (Jon) Fitch, you know just take him out of his own game,” Ferguson said.
Beyond the initial ground attack, Ferguson was going after Nijem with heavy punches and his opponent’s counters were somewhat sloppy and undisciplined.
The result was Ferguson catching Nijem with a big left hook that sent the former Team Dos Santos team member crumbling to the floor. Ferguson smelled the blood in the water and immediately seized the moment with a couple more quick punches and the fight was over.
While Ferguson may have to live with regret regarding the night that will go down in ‘Ultimate Fighter’ infamy, he now can say he is the TUF 13 champion and tasted redemption with his win over Ramsey Nijem.
Ferguson was quick to point out his short comings during his time on the reality show, and mistakes were made, but he is glad to show that he is a better person than what people saw for 10 weeks on Spike TV.
“I learned a lot about myself in there. I kept a lot of stuff bottled up, and I brought a lot of inner demons with me inside there, but every single fight what I did was I tried to fight them out, leave it all out there,” Ferguson stated about his time on the show.
“From here on out it’s like I want to do the right thing. Make a good example, set something up for these kids that way so they can look for me as a role model.”
Ferguson took a big step forward towards that goal on Saturday night and he can now also call himself the champion of the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ season 13.