Anthony Ferguson was born in California and grew up in Michigan. He was a 3-sport athlete in high school: baseball, football and wrestling. Ferguson was on the 2000 Division 8 state football team that won the championship. He was also selected 3 times for the All-State in wrestling and won in the 152-lb division in 2002. Ferguson bounced around in different colleges and did not complete a degree, but he did have success with wrestling and won the 2006 NCWA national wrestling championship in the 165-lb division. After leaving college, Ferguson moved back to California and worked as a bartender, then started training at an MMA gym. ‘El Cucuy’s’ professional MMA career began in 2007. In 2010, Ferguson was accepted to compete in The Ultimate Fighter series and won in The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale against Ramsey Nijem, and again in TUF 14 against Yves Edwards. He is a top ranked UFC lightweight. Ferguson is married and has 1 son. He has millions of followers on social media. Fergusonis5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs about 155 lbs.
Tony Ferguson’s Diet
Like any serious athlete, Ferguson does not mess around with his diet. Because he is so strict with what he eats, he has never missed making weight. He cooks for himself whenever possible, and his meals are made from the classics: veggies, egg whites, chicken breast, and brown rice. He is just as serious about staying hydrated with plenty of clean, fresh water, and he often adds electrolytes to keep his mineral content from dropping too low due to intense training.
- Low Fat 10% 10%
- Low-Medium Carb 25% 25%
- High Protein 70% 70%
When he needs to cut, Ferguson works with his coach to get himself in fighting weight.
Spice It Up
Ferguson eats clean, but that doesn’t mean boring. He likes spicy food, like Indonesian-style beef curry and spicy guacamole.
Not Always On
When Fergusondoesn’t have an upcoming fight, he allows himself bigger portions. Sometimes he really cuts loose and cooks his chicken in olive oil rather than roasting or boiling it.
Ferguson will also have green tea to boost his metabolism and fat-burning and help him keep his weight down.
Ferguson likes his fruit, but he sticks to ones that are low on the glycemic index (GI), like berries and grapefruit.
Ferguson is religious about his fluid intake. He drinks a ton of water, often adding electrolytes to counteract the heavy sweating from working out.
The one thing thing Ferguson avoids like the plague is sugary drinks, such as soda.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Ferguson on His Commitment To Excellence in Health
‘I took so many things out of my life that I don’t need anymore.’
Ferguson on How The Effect Of His Lifestyle Changes
‘So awesome. It’s a great feeling.’
Ferguson on How to Recover Faster
‘Nutrition is a huge part of it.’
Ferguson on Recuperating From a Broken Arm
‘What that did is it gave me a good break, mentally, physically, emotionally, exactly what I needed.’
Tony Ferguson’s Fitness Routine
Ferguson works out every day, but one thing he isn’t into is traditional sparring. He does do some classic training, such as jumping rope and using a foam roller for stretching.
Custom Training Apparatus
Ferguson built his own training gym at his home in Big Bear Lake, California.
Unique Training Plan
Ferguson is known for his eccentric training style that includes hitting his limbs against metal poles, swinging a hammer while balancing on a gym ball and somersaulting over stacks of gym mats.
Ferguson posts videos of many of his idiosyncratic workouts on Instagram.
A Tony Ferguson Routine
Gym mat somersaults
Bosu ball hammer swings
Horizontal bar swings
Bang metal bars with arms and legs
Ferguson’s workouts are best left to the professionals, specifically himself.
Ferguson on Traditional Sparring for Training
‘I haven’t sparred in about 4-5 years.’
Ferguson on His Level of Commitment
‘I’ve been training like an Olympian.’
Ferguson on His Training Syle
‘I have a good group of people that I rely on and that coach me.’
Ferguson on His Unorthodox Training
‘I have to rely on my own methodology and my own training from previous sports.’
Tony Ferguson’s Supplements
Ferguson mostly keeps his supplementing routine to himself, so below are options that can benefit anyone following a similar diet plan.
Ferguson does admit to taking omega-3s which combat inflammation and support recovery, as well as brain and joint health.
Ferguson often adds the electrolytes magnesium, potassium, and sodium to his fluids to replace those lost through profuse sweating.
Tony Ferguson’s Lifestyle
When Ferguson tore his knee’s LCL in 2018, doctors told him it would take a year or more to recover. Ferguson took charge of his own rehab, was back in the cage in less than 6 months, and handily beat his first opponent.
No Insurance? No Problem
Ferguson said that for many years he didn’t have health insurance, even after he had started fighting professionally. This forced him to learn how to take care of himself. He consults with pros such as coaches for the men’s Olympic volleyball team, but he has taught himself how to do it all.
Never Say Die
In the May 2012 match against Michael Johnson, Ferguson broke his arm in the second round but kept fighting. He lost the match, doctors had to put a plate into his arm, and he was out of action for a year, but he says showing weakness was not an option.
Ferguson earned his nickname ‘el Cucuy’ from a coach. It is Spanish for ‘boogeyman’ and is based on his physical appearance. Rather than be insulted, Ferguson embraces the moniker.
Every athlete faces the question of when to retire. Ferguson says he’s not going anywhere, but at 38 years old and having lost his last 3 bouts, others such as Khabib Nurmagomedov question whether it’s time for him to quit the cage.
Ferguson on His Nickname
‘My coach says…”Man, you look like El Cucuy…you got the crazy ears.”’
Ferguson on Facing Difficulties
‘I do so well under chaos, it’s not even funny.’
Ferguson on Fighting With a Broken Arm
‘Not a lot of people saw because I hid my face really well.’
Ferguson on How He Views Training
‘I train my body to be prepared for war.’
Ferguson on Himself
‘I have been the champ. I am the champ. I don’t need a belt to be the champ.’
Ferguson on Himself, Take II
‘I’m an Ultimate Fighter, and that’s what “TUF” stands for. I’m a “TUF” guy.’