At the UFC 262 pre-fight press conference, Tony Ferguson was asked about the last-minute change in the matchup he accepted at UFC 249 – going from Khabib Nurmagomedov to Justin Gaethje.
Tony Ferguson was defeated by Gaethje via fifth-round TKO in that fight, following which 'El Cucuy' had a relatively short training camp ahead of his next fight. Ferguson's next bout was against Charles Oliveira at UFC 256, which 'Do Bronx' won via unanimous decision.
On that note, Tony Ferguson was asked how he feels about finally having a good training camp ahead of UFC 262. Ferguson stated –
“We hit the bag. We put everything we could into this camp. I had to resource myself to my old Ultimate Fighter coaches. Made contact with Brock (Lesnar); he said, ‘Do you understand what I was talking about – The difference between chicken sh** and chicken salad?’ I said, ‘Absof**kinlutely !’”
“Talked to coach Marty Morgan; he said, ‘Did you let him take you down on purpose?’ I said, ‘No’. He said, ‘Then why the f**k are you gonna let anybody else take you down?’ I talked to Greg Nelson. He said the same kind of thing. I talked to coach Eric Paulson. Now, each one of these guys, they know me and they know exactly what I can come from. And I just honed in. And there’s no words for this sh**, man…We’re gonna go out there and get this victory.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Tony Ferguson’s TUF 13 coach, former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, had once famously told the fighters about "making chicken salad out of chicken sh**". Lesnar later clarified that what it means is that entering the TUF house made them chicken salad i.e. better fighters.
Brock Lesnar was Tony Ferguson coach during Ferguson’s time on TUF 13 as a part of Team Lesnar
The 13th season of the TUF reality show, also known as The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos, aired in 2011 and featured a welterweight tournament.
Tony Ferguson was one of the fighters on Brock Lesnar’s team and went on to win the tournament by defeating Ramsey Nijem via first-round KO. The Tony Ferguson vs. Ramsey Nijem matchup headlined the TUF 13 finale event, which took place in June 2011.
'El Cucuy' won the fight, the tournament, and with it the honor of being the winner of the TUF 13 title. Ferguson eventually went on to scale great heights of success in the UFC, establishing himself as one of the most innovative and dangerous fighters in the sport.