Ferguson Intends to Show True Colors at ‘TUF 13’ Finale

By Mike Whitman Jun 4, 2011
Up until Episode 9 on Season 13 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Tony Ferguson (Pictured; file photo) was simply considered one of the favorites to win the competition.

However, after a drunken outburst in which he insulted Charlie Rader and referenced his housemate’s ongoing struggle to see his son, the welterweight has become the season’s clear-cut villain in the eyes of many observers. On Saturday, Ferguson may face not only fellow finalist Ramsey Nijem at “The Ultimate Fighter 13” Finale but also the wrath of a packed crowd at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

Regardless of the reception he receives, Ferguson says he will be ready to take care of business when the horn sounds.

“When you’re a fighter or an athlete, you have to look past [the crowd]. Even being a wrestler, you just have to put it all behind you,” Ferguson said during Thursday’s UFC conference call. “I don't think [the crowd] is going to affect me at all, even though it is a big arena and there [will be] a lot more people. When you’re focused, you’re in the zone and you don’t really listen to anything else. You just focus on your team, and you have to have rhythm in your head. It’s hard to break that rhythm.”

According to Ferguson, the way he was portrayed on-screen came as a surprise. After his altercation with Rader, which began when the Bellator Fighting Championships veteran poured water on his head as a joke, most all of his housemates showed their displeasure with his actions.

“I wasn’t prepared for that at all. It’s kind of funny how it all happened. It sucked, unfortunately, but that’s what happens when you mix in alcohol and you’re stuck with a bunch of guys in a house,” said Ferguson. “I’m a nice guy outside of there, but that was an extraordinary situation. I know who I am, and my family knows who I am, but I hope that everybody in the world gets to see what I’m actually made of after [the fight with Nijem].”

Though he will look to block out fans who may hold disdain for his actions on the show, Ferguson also admits he is not proud of how he behaved while intoxicated.

“As far as the fans go, I know that I obviously made a mistake, and I’m paying for it. My Twitter has been blowing up like crazy, and I’ve had a few people send me some crazy messages on Facebook that I never thought I would get,” he said. “But it brought me back to reality and [made me remember] that I do have to make a difference and I do have to change some things about myself.

“That’s not me,” Ferguson added. “I got to see it on TV, and I didn’t like it. I saw what other people saw. The only thing I want to do is make my parents proud, just like any other person who is competing in this sport. I just want to make people proud and make things right.”

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