A Look Into Tony Ferguson’s College Sports Career

Published 05/15/2021, 10:42 PM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: Tony Ferguson poses for photos during the UFC 249 press conference at T-Mobile Arena on March 06, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Tony Ferguson is one of the most unique and versatile fighters in the entire UFC roster. The fighter has been a sports person throughout his life. This has helped him incorporate various styles into his fights and become unorthodox.

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Born in Oxnard, California, ‘El Cucuy’ grew up in Muskegon, Michigan. He completed high school at Muskegon Central Catholic High School. As a student, Ferguson used to play three different sports.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 05: Tony Ferguson poses during a ceremonial weigh-in for UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena on October 05, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ferguson will fight Anthony Pettis in a lightweight bout at UFC 229 on October 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Apart from being a talented wrestler, ‘El Cucuy’ also competed in American football and baseball in High School. However, during his time in University, he focused purely on wrestling. Ferguson had a successful wrestling career, winning the 2005-06 NCAA wrestling championship at the 165 lbs division.

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How did his athletic career help Tony Ferguson in fighting?

Ferguson is one of the most creative fighters to ever grace the UFC Octagon. He is extremely athletic. Also, ‘El Cucuy’, who has uncanny durability, never fails to come up with innovative methods when called for. While others seem to fold as the fight gets tough and painful, the former UFC interim lightweight champion embraces the pressure.

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LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 07: Tony Ferguson celebrates after his submission victory over Kevin Lee in their interim UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 216 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 7, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Perhaps his extended athletic career during his school/college days is the key factor behind his ability to thrive under chaos. The way he handles adversity shows his experience as an athlete. Also, despite being 37, he is still a top of the food chain fighter in the UFC’s most difficult division.

Many believe he is on borrowed time as a top lightweight contender, but that necessarily may not be the case as ‘El Cucuy‘ can still tap into his vast reservoirs of athletic experience and take on all comers.

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Apratim Banerjee

1220 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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