Occasionally you’ll hear a veteran fighter refer to a younger competitor as reminding him of him of his self at a younger age. However, roles were recently reversed when TUF 13 winner Tony Ferguson was asked about upcoming opponent Yves Edwards who he faces tomorrow night on the main card of the Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale.
Ferguson, who has a quarter of Edwards’ experience, explained he feels he is in the same place the “Thugjitsu Master” was early on in his UFC career – a powerful, precise striker with underrated grappling who is out to prove a point.
“I see that I’m Yves ten years ago. I’m exactly how he was – hungry,” said Ferguson in an interview with the UFC website. “We’re in a new spot and in a new evolution of mixed martial arts and the possibilities are endless now. With Yves, he’s coming back, but he’s not gonna beat me. The way I see it, I’m the new generation. It’s the transition between the guys that started this stuff and the guys that are coming up now.”
The 27-year old Californian has great respect for Edwards as he does for all of his adversaries based on their role in his evolution as a fighter.
“That’s the whole purpose of (MMA),” Ferguson began. “Regardless of the money and everything else, the one thing you need to be able to take away from all this is the experience you gain from the opponent that you’re facing. My dad used to tell me ‘don’t go up to the wrestling chart. It’s not gonna matter what name or what record is in front of you; you have to worry about what you’re gonna do.’ And that’s what I took to Aaron Riley. I did my research and my homework on him afterwards.”
Given the result against Riley at UFC 135, i.e. a dominating win for “El Cucuy” featuring a broken jaw, whatever Ferguson did worked. Then again, with Edwards he’s upped his studying a bit before their battle.
“I’ve done my homework on Yves, but he’s all over the place. I’ve asked some Muay Thai guys and they said that he’s a little bit older and might not want to stand up with me. Then you get mixed feelings from everybody else, but you’ve got your own intuition as well, so that’s why I make sure all my T’s are crossed and my I’s are dotted. I’m not just looking at one thing. I have to learn from every single fight. I’ve done that since my first amateur fight, and this is a new game.”
Ferguson vs. Edwards will be part of the Spike TV broadcast starting at 8:00 PM EST. The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale also features headlining action between coaches Jason Miller and Michael Bisping as well as season finals Diego Brandao vs. Dennis Bermudez (featherweight) and John Dodson vs. TJ Dillashaw (bantamweight).
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC