If you thought Tony Ferguson (13-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) looked a little flat in his May 2012 loss to Michael Johnson, it would probably be fair to note that he fought much of the contest with a broken left forearm.
“I left it out there, and I ate it up with a pair of kicks – some roundhouse kicks from Michael Johnson,” Ferguson told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “It broke the ulna. It burst like a firecracker. It was round two. It was maybe two-and-a-quarter minutes into round two.”
Ferguson didn’t make it readily apparent his limb had been shattered, save for a minor shaking of his arm.
“Thirty seconds afterwards, you can see me shake my hand out like, ‘Oh, OK. It’s kind of alive,’” Ferguson said. “It felt like an old football injury where it just got really cold, and I didn’t know if it was broke or whatever. I just thought it was sore, so I was hoping the pain would go away. Eventually it got numb with the adrenaline and everything.
“I had to use the anatomy and physiology in my head thinking, ‘OK, I’ve got to put my elbow underneath my hand like a table.’ I had to think about what I was doing physically.”
At that point, “El Cucuy” knew he was in trouble, but he vowed to continue fighting on. It was obvious he wasn’t operating at 100 percent, but Ferguson carried on to the final bell.
“I was throwing out there like a jab, and he was running into it,” Ferguson said. “I was shaking his head back like a PEZ dispenser. I was throwing like three-hit combos with my right hand, but I couldn’t defend for crap. It kind of sucked. I was getting popped left and right. But I made it to the end.
“I already kind of knew I lost, but it was just more like, ‘Alright, let’s go get this arm checked out.’”
Ferguson’s arm needed surgical repair, which is why he’s been forced out of action for the past year. But as the limb has healed, so has Ferguson’s confidence.
“At first they had a little plate, but now I’m a X-man,” Ferguson joked. “They put a huge blade in there, kind of like a big old plate, right there. It’s like battle armor. It’s kind of crazy.”
Ferguson, the winner of “The Ultimate Fighter 13,” saw a six-fight win streak snapped with the loss. While the injury makes the result understandable, Ferguson felt the result was a wake-up call, and he relocated to Southern California in an effort to re-invent himself.
“I flipped my whole life around when I moved out here, and I decided I’ve got to get better,” Ferguson said. “I’ve got to get stronger mentally, and I’ve got to learn from this. I’ve got to come back out, and I’ve got to come back with a vengeance.”
Ferguson has finally resumed training, and he’s one medical exam away from full clearance, at which point he can book his next UFC appearance. Ferguson said he’s ready for a strong rebound, and he wants to do it against stiff competition.
“I need a good fight,” Ferguson said. “I don’t want a tomato can. I don’t want anything like that. I want to go out and put on a show.”
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