Viewers of last nights The Ultimate Fighter episode were probably shocked with Anthony Ferguson suddenly erupted after a season in which he'd established himself as a quiet man who did his talking in the cage. Earlier in the episode Ferguson KO'd Ryan McGillivray in the first round to advance to the semi-finals where he'll meet Chuck O'Neil.
Cage Potato recapped Ferguson's post-fight antics succinctly:
The night starts merrily enough - with Stripper Ramsey performing his one-man all-male revue on the pool table and getting alcohol sprayed on his dick, you know, normal dude stuff - but boy does it turn ugly fast. A friendly tussle between Tony and Charlie Rader flips a psycho-switch on Tony, who to this point has only been a well-dressed nice-guy. Tony tackles Charlie over a glass coffee table and then puts his forearm across Charlie's face. The mood in the room turns dire. Charlie gets up and checks to see if they're still playing around. "Are you being serious? Are you good?" he says. But Tony is not good; he's seeing red for some reason. After some verbal tussling, Tony brings up Charlie's son. ("Where's your kid at?") Wow, what an asshole. Tony then throws a stool, putting an exclamation point on his own dickishness.
Charlie is beside himself with anger and wants to throw down right then and there. A little later, Charlie's in his bedroom fuming, and Tony comes in. The guys try to get Tony to apologize for the low-blow about Charlie's son. Tony's like "what?" The guys tell him how he brought up Charlie's kid, and Tony's like, "oh yeah...WHERE'S YOUR KID?" Unbelievable. Charlie tries to go after Tony but they're both restrained by their teammates.
Ferguson gave his side of the story at his TUF blog at SBNation.com:
You first have to understand we started drinking not long after we had just got done fighting. We had also done the semi-final picks. I think part of me brought the fight home since my real fight with Ryan ended so fast. When you bring alcohol into the mix, it was just bad from there.
Charlie Rader poured water on my head, but at the time I thought it was beer. I couldn't understand why he would do something like that, even as minor as it may seem now. I had a short fuse. I'm usually not like that. When I saw myself, it was honestly kind of creepy.
Unfortunately, everyone saw The Boogeyman came out. That's a side of my personality I usually only see in the cage, but somehow Charlie brought it out in real life. Something just snapped and I thought "This guy is your enemy now". Rather than try to bring people close to me, I was pushing everyone away.
Why did I bring up Charlie's son? I have no idea, but I have a guess. My birth father wasn't there for me growing up. Somehow Charlie's situation mixed in with my adrenaline from fighting and the booze all worked together to bring up my own issues. I learned a lot about myself watching that on tape and how I felt about certain things in my life. I was under a lot of pressure, I was trying to bottle up frustration and it didn't work. Well, it worked for a while, but ultimately did not.
I said some things I shouldn't have said. I was in a weird place. I was having crazy dreams in that house. The entire experience took me out of my own independence and removed all of my release valves.
I really regret saying what I said to Charlie and we've talked about it since the incident. I've spoke to Clay Harvison and Chuck, too. We are in a better place now than we were that night.