In the build-up to his UFC 223 fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov at the Barclays Center in New York on April 7, Ferguson talked to Newsday about stepping into the octagon for his son.
“I fight so that he doesn’t have to, that’s the ultimate truth. I do my thing and I’ll get punched in the face, but that’s only if I want to.”
It is rare for fighters such as Ferguson to publicly say that they don’t want their sons to strap on the gloves just like their dads. Former UFC star Randy Couture became the heavyweight champion three times. His son Ryan has fought in the UFC, Strikeforce, and Bellator. Undefeated Bellator featherweight A.J. McKee is coached by his dad, former UFC lightweight Antonio McKee.
Ferguson is known as a trash-talker, and he may want to shield Armand from the barbs that often fly outside the octagon. Last year on The MMA Hour podcast, Ferguson told UFC superstar Conor McGregor that he would “haunt your f***ing dreams, kid.”
Despite his reputation as a trash-talker, Ferguson believes that some fighters take things too far when they are in front of a microphone. In January 2017, Nurmagomedov said that he was going to break Ferguson’s arm. The American responded in an interview with FightHub TV by saying he needed his arm to hold his newborn son properly.
In his last 10 fights, Ferguson has submitted six opponents with chokes. However, he has a formidable amount of punching power, as demonstrated by his knockout of Katsunori Kikuno at UFC 173 in May 2014. Knockouts and concussions are common in mixed martial arts, which may be another reason why the American believes his son Armand should choose another career path.
Ferguson is currently studying at the National Academy of Sports Medicine to become a certified personal trainer and wants Armand to be aware of this.
“I’m going for my NASM and going back to school so my kid can actually see me reading a book and doing these things so growing up, he knows that fighting is not it.”
At 34-years-old, Ferguson seems to have a solid plan to provide for his son and wife Cristina after he hangs up the gloves and retires. He has opened his own training gym in California.
While he may not want Armand to fight professionally, Ferguson could have a vision for his son to become a full-time trainer coaching the next generation of UFC title contenders.