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Ferguson: Family reunited ahead of UFC return

CHICAGO -- Tony Ferguson commented publicly for the first time Wednesday about the personal issues that have kept him out of UFC competition, including the restraining order filed against him by his wife earlier this year.

In a sit-down interview with ESPN, the UFC lightweight star confirmed that his family has reunited and his wife, Cristina, and 3-year-old son are with him this week for UFC 238.

Ferguson is slated to fight Donald Cerrone on Saturday night's card at United Center in his comeback after an eight-month layoff.

"We're sitting here, happy," Ferguson said. "I've got my kid. I've got my wife. What's better than that, man? Everybody has their problems out there in the world. That's their own f---ing s---."

Cristina filed a restraining order request against Ferguson in Orange County (California) family court on March 13. She claimed that Ferguson took their son away forcefully, pushing her and her mother out of the way at her parents' home. Cristina wrote in the filing that she had not been allowed by Ferguson to see their son for five days and was "terrified" for her son's safety.

In addition, Cristina wrote to the court that Ferguson had displayed paranoid and delusional behavior, including ripping apart walls and furniture in their home and believing "our son was Jesus Christ and [Tony] was the second Jesus Christ."

"Tony Ferguson is a good husband and good father to our son," Cristina wrote in a statement to the media at the time, via her attorney Jeffrey L. Heath. "The current legal proceedings are a part of a process to ensure that Tony will receive the help necessary to continue being the best possible, as well as to pursue his passion and career as a UFC champion fighter. All positive well-wishes are sincerely appreciated, and I hope our privacy will be respected."

Cristina dropped the case in early April before a scheduled hearing.

Ferguson no longer has a restraining order request against him, and he was never arrested nor charged with a crime.

When asked about these issues and having to go through them publicly, Ferguson said during a UFC 238 media session, "I think, more than anything else, I feel for my wife, because she had to go through [it]."

"Things have always been good, man," Ferguson added. "Everybody has their good days and bad days. There's always two sides to a story. I'm not one to throw anybody under the bus, but check this out, I'll be the first one to step in front of it."

UFC president Dana White had previously said that Ferguson would need to be evaluated by the promotion before coming back to fight. Ferguson's return against Cerrone at UFC 238 became official May 11. Ferguson, the former UFC interim lightweight champion, brushed off White's "evaluation" comment on Wednesday.

"I think he needs to be evaluated," Ferguson said. "We need to check his head. I don't know how many interim title fights he can make me try to f---ing fight. Straight up, man. Literally, I did everything I needed to do to get back to where I'm at.

"Like I said, I'm happy to be here. This ain't no 30 for 30. It ain't, man. This ain't my time for that s---."

In the sit-down with ESPN, Ferguson railed against the pressures of going through personal troubles while having a public life.

"This is the amount of privacy that I have," Ferguson said, clasping his hands together. "You want to pull my hands apart? Look, there ain't s--- there. Get it?"