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ORANGE, Calif. — Tony Ferguson’s wife filed a request for a temporary domestic violence restraining order after Ferguson allegedly took their son for six days and a series of “frightening” incidents, per court records.
Cristina Ferguson, spouse of the former UFC interim lightweight champion, filed the request Wednesday in Orange County (Calif.) Superior Court after she said Tony Ferguson forcefully took their son from her parents’ home, pushing her and her mother away in the process on March 7, per documents obtained by MMA Fighting on Friday.
Cristina Ferguson wrote that Tony Ferguson “grabbed and pushed me and my mother and we have been in constant fear as a result of [Tony Ferguson’s] threatening and violent behavior.”
The restraining order request includes that Tony Ferguson stay away from his 2-year-old son, as well as Cristina Ferguson’s parents and her brother. She is asking for Tony Ferguson to undergo a 52-week batterer intervention program and “undergo a psychiatric evaluation and follow any and all prescribed course of treatment and medication.” Cristina Ferguson wrote that there is a fear that her husband will flee with their son and she is asking for full custody of the child.
Tony Ferguson has not been arrested, nor charged with any crimes.
The court has scheduled a domestic violence prevention services investigation into Tony Ferguson for March 22 and a hearing for April 5. MMAjunkie was the first to report the news of the restraining order request.
According to Cristina Ferguson’s declaration to the court, Tony Ferguson, 35, arrived at her parents’ home, where Cristina had been residing, on March 7. Tony allegedly asked their son, “Wanna go for a ride?” Cristina said she told Tony it was too late and he could not take their son. She wrote that she and her mother stood in front of Tony to prevent him from leaving, but he pushed them both out of the way, ran back into the house, out the back door and over a fence — all with his son in his arms.
Cristina wrote that Tony left his cell phone and his car behind and ran away on foot with their son, who was not wearing shoes or a diaper. It was also raining out, she wrote.
“I was terrified for the safety of our son,” Cristina wrote.
Earlier that day, Cristina wrote that Tony had been acting irrationally, asking her whose car was parked outside the residence and if she was withdrawing money from their joint back accounts to take their son to Italy.
“I am not Italian and I do not know anybody in Italy,” Cristina wrote.
Cristina filed the request for a restraining order March 13 and Santa Ana (Calif.) Police Department officers went to Tony’s residence that day to “remove” the child, per the police incident report. In a welfare check, police reported that the child “appeared well taken care of” and Tony Ferguson “let the child go with his mother on his own free will.” The Santa Ana police has responded to several calls to the Ferguson family residence over the last 14 months.
The March 7 incident was the culmination of what Cristina believes is a series of “mental” breaks that Tony has been having, she wrote. Last month, Tony allegedly had increased delusions and paranoia, she wrote. Tony “believed our son was Jesus Christ and [Tony] was the second Jesus Christ,” per Cristina’s declaration. She wrote that Tony asked their son if he was possessed or overtaken by other beings, which frightened the child.
Here are key claims made in Cristina’s declaration, by date:
Feb. 5: Cristina wrote that Tony did not sleep and he believed there would be a great flood as a result of the lunar eclipse. Tony allegedly purchased a life raft and took Cristina and their son on a drive inland, all the way to Palm Desert, Calif., about 111 miles from their home in Santa Ana. Cristina wrote that Tony woke her and her son up in the middle of the night there and said they had to leave, because they were not safe. Tony promised to seek help with mental issues if there was no flood, but later refused, she wrote.
Feb. 12: Tony had what Cristina described as a “psychotic break or a panic attack.” He screamed in her face, sweared at her and believed she was someone else, she wrote.
“I woke up late that night to [Tony] standing over me accusing me of being a witch,” Cristina wrote.
Feb. 16: Cristina wrote that Tony unplugged the refrigerator and turned off half the power in their home, because he believed there were cameras in the refrigerator and ceiling fan and that he was being watched. He also cut the wires to the heat and air conditioning units, she wrote, because he believed there was a tracking device in it. Tony allegedly tore the vanity mirror off the bathroom wall, because he believed there was something behind it and took his son’s food away because he believed it was poisoned.
Feb. 19: Tony allegedly agreed to be taken for psychological help at Keck Medical Center at USC. Cristina and her father went to pick him up, she wrote. When they arrived, they saw furniture and walls in the home had been destroyed. The mantel was ripped off the wall, because Cristina wrote that Tony believed there was a hidden doorway under the fireplace. Santa Ana police were called that day, which is also around when she moved into her parents’ home, she wrote.
March 5: Cristina wrote that she picked Tony up to take him again to Keck Medical Center again. While they were driving there, they hit traffic on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles. While the car was moving, Cristina wrote that Tony jumped out, onto the freeway, ran away, jumped over a fence and disappeared. He did make it back to their family residence later.
There were other situations in January 2019, as well as situations all the way back in January 2018, the latter of which was when Cristina wrote that Tony was drinking heavily and displayed “manic behavior,” she claimed. She added that she believes things began getting worse when Tony injured his knee in April 2018 and needed surgery. That injury forced him out of a UFC 223 title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“There are many frightening incidents which I have yet to list in this declaration,” she wrote. “However, I have videos and photographs of [Tony’s] frightening, irrational and paranoid behavior, which depicts [Tony] crying, laughing, muttering, yelling, etc., for no apparent rational reason.”
Cristina wrote that Tony allegedly had a “mental break” after winning The Ultimate Fighter 13 in 2011. He flew home to visit his parents in Michigan and was removed from the flight because of an alleged outburst. Cristina wrote that Tony went to the hospital in Michigan and he was prescribed Risperidone, a medication that can be used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar.
Tony and Cristina were married in 2012 and she wrote that things got better until 2017 when his “unstable behavior began to surface.” At that time, she wrote, he was also drinking heavily. There was a time when Tony vowed to protect her and their son, but Cristina wrote that he has begun to think she is evil and will not let her shower or be in the bathroom alone.
“[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.”
Cristina added that she has not filed for divorce and believes that Tony is in need of mental help.
Tony Ferguson (24-3) is regarded as one of the best fighters in the world and is a prominent name in the UFC’s lightweight division. He won the UFC interim lightweight title at UFC 216 and last competed in October when he defeated Anthony Pettis via second-round TKO at UFC 229. Ferguson has won 11 consecutive fights dating back to Oct. 19, 2013.
Tony Ferguson, nicknamed “El Cucuy,” was surprisingly passed up for the an interim lightweight title fight at UFC 236 next month. That bout will pit featherweight champion Max Holloway against Dustin Poirier. UFC president Dana White wrote to a fan in his Instagram comments this week that Ferguson is “dealing with a lot of personal issues right now and can’t fight.”
“Hopefully things turn around for him and he can get back in there,” White wrote.
Tony Ferguson’s management firm Paradigm told MMAjunkie in a statement: “This is a private family matter that is in the process of being resolved.”