Here’s How Tony Ferguson Injured His Knee Before UFC 223

Published 05/02/2021, 11:16 AM EDT


UFC lightweight veteran Tony Ferguson is one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. In a professional career spanning one and half decades, he has gone toe to toe with some of the finest of all time. However, just like any great fighter, he too has suffered injuries that have caused him some precious career moments.

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Back in 2018, he was on a roll with 10 consecutive victories and was the interim lightweight champion. He got a matchup with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 for the lightweight championship.

This wasn’t the first time they were scheduled to face each other; this was their fourth time and like all other meetings, this too was canceled at the last moment. Ferguson reportedly tore his fibular collateral ligament while walking on the set for a pre-fight media obligation and was forced to withdraw from the event.

Dana White, while giving an interview to Brett Okamoto from ESPN, broke out the news prior to UFC 223. Okamoto later took to Twitter and explained what had happened. “I’m told the injury to Tony Ferguson was literally caused by a trip. The freak accident of all freak accidents. He was walking, saw someone he wasn’t expecting to see, veered sharply to say hello and tripped,” he said.

Later, ‘El Cucuy’ too took to Twitter and had shown his disappointment for not being able to fight and apologized to his fans, coaches, and Khabib alike. He also explained the need for the surgery.

After Ferguson was ruled out, Max Holloway was asked to step in within a week’s notice. But on weigh-in day, he was deemed medically unfit to compete. After all the hustle, finally, Al laquinta stepped in, but ‘The Eagle’ defeated him to capture the gold.

Quick return from injury for Tony Ferguson

‘El Cucuy’ was ruled out to fight for at least a year after the injury by the doctors. But after six months, defying all odds, he decided to return to the octagon. In an interview with UFC prior to his return fight at UFC 229, he spoke about how he had changed his diet and drinking habits.

He ate only vegetables, which he grew on his on garden. The injury forced him to re-look at his workout regime and practice harder than before. With different strength and conditioning coaches, he made a roadmap and followed it with dedication.

Fight with Anthony Pettis

‘El Cucuy’ returned to fight Anthony Pettis at the UFC 229 pay-per-view. He was pushed back initially, but his experience paid him dividends as he quickly made some adjustments to negate Pettis’ hard blows. He took control of the fight and made a cut over Anthony’s eye. After the end of the referee’s intervention, he continued to dominate Anthony.

He constantly threw punches and kicks, which gradually took a toll on Pettis. The latter got a cut over his face and after the end of round two, Pettis’ corner waved for the fight to stop. ‘El Cucuy’ won the fight via T (KO) and made a successful return to the ring.

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He then picked up another victory via stoppage when he fought Donald Cerrone at UFC 238. Thus taking his overall tally to 12 consecutive wins.

It was an unfortunate injury for ‘El Cucuy’ but just like any other skilled fighter, he didn’t lose hope and instead focused on getting back stronger. How would you rate his return from injury?

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

221 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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