Tony Ferguson’s training methods under fire
On December 16th at UFC 296, Tony Ferguson will meet Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett in the octagon with the hope of breaking his six-fight losing streak that dates back to May, 2020. As the date for the last PPV of the year draws closer and the media ramps up their coverage of the event, stories have begun to emerge on the athletes from the card.
Tony Ferguson has long been known for unorthodox training camps, even opting to build his own outdoor gym to train completely alone at in Big Bear, California. He’s trained with a variety of camps and well-known coaches and has received invitations from several gyms and even other fighters. Charles Oliveira generously offered an invitation to his own camp, but Tony declined.
Vinc Pichel says Ferguson roughed him up
This week, an accusation was launched against Ferguson that he’d roughed up a training partner coming off an injury. UFC lightweight Vinc Pichel details an incident he alleges happened with ‘El Cucuy’. The pertinent quotes come from an interview with James Lynch.
“Immediately before that, we knew he had a reputation for being a bridge-burner,” said Pichel (ht MMA Mania). “He’s burned people before and we all knew about it. So, ‘Big John’ kind of came up to us and was like, ‘Hey, Tony Ferguson wants to train with us.’ At first, I was like f—k that guy. He’s just a scumbag, I don’t trust him. On the other hand, he’d be a good partner. So, let’s just let him come in, and let’s train with him and see how he does. If he fits in with us, s—t, he might fit right in and I might just be an asshole and he could fit in with us. Let’s do it.
“He comes in one day and then, at this time, I’m just coming back in the gym,” he continued. “I had a very bad neck injury so I wasn’t training. I was still a little injured but kind of getting over that hump and starting to get better.
“We were practicing kimuras and so we’re going over technique,” Pichel added. “I tell him, ‘Hey, I’m just coming back from a neck injury. Whatever you do, just don’t do anything that’s gonna tweak my neck with a kimura.’ First thing this piece of s—t does is he gets a kimura then he continues to scissor me across my neck and just squeeze it as hard as he can. Not even touching the kimura, just squeezing my neck as hard as he can. I started cussing. I think I punched him in the f—king dick or something to get him to let go. I get up and he’s like, ‘What’s your problem?’ I f—king shove him then ‘Big John’ gets between us and I’m like f—k this guy. If you’re gonna keep this guy, I’m gone. I don’t give a f—k. This guy’s a piece of s—t. Ever since then, I’ve just been like, ‘F—k you, Tony Ferguson.’ I’ll never be friends with him because of that because that showed me what a piece of s—t he really is.”
Ferguson has notably bounced around between camps and has spoken of it before, but in an interview with Ariel Helwani a couple weeks ago, he talked about being back with his old camp again, and how he felt that was going to aid him significantly against Pimblett. We’ll find out if the return to familiar territory was the required prescription for his three-and-a-half-year slump.
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