From relative unknown to “TUF 13” winner, “El Cucuy” rode the
figurative elevator from the basement to the penthouse in just a
“I’m on cloud nine right now,” Ferguson said in a Saturday video
interview on UFC.com “There are no words to express how I feel.
It’s been such a long journey these last three years. I started out
on the bottom in MMA and worked my way to the top. This is proof
that dreams do come true as long as you work hard.”
Ferguson ended Nijem’s night early, closing the show at Las Vegas’
Palms Casino Resort in style. Both fighters threw leather to start
the bout, but it was Ferguson who scored the first clean takedown
of the fight. Just before the round entered its final minute,
Ferguson charged ahead and landed a sharp left hook to Nijem’s jaw.
The Vegas crowd cheered as a backpedaling Nijem was knocked stiff
and fell to the canvas.
“As soon as he hit me a couple of times, I woke up a little bit. It
kind of sucks that I have to get hit to get woken up,” said
Ferguson. “That left hook is my moneymaker. We did a lot of
three-punch combos in the back before [the fight], and it was just
out there waiting [to put him] on the ground.”
During his stint on the Spike TV reality show, Ferguson trained
under the supervision of Brock Lesnar.
Following the season’s taping, but prior to the live finale, Lesnar
invited the Californian to train with
Team Death Clutch in Minnesota, a gesture not lost on his
appreciative pupil. After walking away with a win and his “TUF 13”
trophy, Ferguson called the former heavyweight champion to discuss
“He was just so proud of me... It was hard for me not to tear up. I
look at Brock as a coach and uncle and an older brother. He gave me
the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Ferguson. “Before I left, he
said, ‘[This is] the calm before the storm. Just make sure you
bring the storm when you need it.’”
Viewed by some fans as the villain of “TUF 13” due to a drunken
outburst which saw him insult fellow cast member Charlie
Rader, Ferguson reflected on how much his victory truly meant
in the locker room after the biggest win of his career.
“It’s just surreal. I’m so excited now to be the winner of this
trophy. It’s the biggest thing in my whole entire life, and it just
means so much.”