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Dana White: Fighting right now would not be in Tony Ferguson’s ‘best interest’

Tony Ferguson Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It doesn’t appear that Tony Ferguson will be fighting any time soon.

UFC president Dana White briefly discussed the sensitive situation the former UFC interim lightweight champion is going through in an interview with Yahoo! that published Tuesday. Ferguson’s wife Cristina has filed a request for a temporary domestic violence restraining order against Ferguson, claiming the fighter is going through “delusions and paranoia.”

On Monday, UFC lightweight fighter Al Iaquinta said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on ESPN that he was offered a fight against Ferguson. White explained to Yahoo’s Kevin Iole how that came to pass and the likely outcome: Ferguson probably should not be fighting right now.

“Tony had hit me up after the Max Holloway fight went to [Dustin] Poirier and was saying, ‘What’s next for me?’” White said. “I said, ‘Well, we can get you a fight with Al Iaquinta.’ Reached out to Al, Al was interested in the fight. But the reality is that right now Tony has a lot of personal problems that he needs to deal with. I don’t think that putting him in a fight right now would be in his best interest. He needs to handle his personal stuff first.”

Ferguson seemed a shoo-in to be fighting for the UFC interim lightweight title he once held against either Holloway or Poirier, but the UFC 236 main event fight will be between those two and not Ferguson. It has become clear over the last week, though, that Ferguson is going through issues at home that could keep him out of the Octagon.

On March 13, Ferguson’s wife filed the restraining order requests. In the court filing obtained by MMA Fighting, she is accusing him of pushing her and her mother out of the way, then running out of her parents’ home, where she is now living, with their 2-year-old son and taking him for six days. Police removed the child when the restraining order request was filed.

Cristina Ferguson wrote in a media statement that her main aim for the restraining order request was so that her husband get “the help necessary” to continue being a good father and husband. She wrote in her declaration to the court that Ferguson has had some “frightening” potential mental breaks, including tearing up their family home in fear that there were cameras watching him and saying he believes his son is Jesus Christ.

“[His] behavior is getting worse and more frightening,” Cristina wrote. “I am afraid that during one of [Tony’s] episodes [Tony] will kill me, our son and/or himself.”

The court has scheduled a domestic violence prevention services investigation into Tony Ferguson for March 22 and a hearing for April 5. He has not been arrested, nor charged with a crime.

Tony Ferguson, 35, has won 11 fights in a row and is one of the top fighters in the UFC. He was in line for a title bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov in April 2018, but injured his knee slipping on a wire during media obligations just a week out from that fight. He was forced to withdraw and have surgery. Cristina Ferguson wrote that his behavior started getting worse after that unfortunate mishap.

In an Instagram post over the weekend, Tony Ferguson wrote that his management team and the UFC are “helping me find the help we need.”

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