In his first public comments since his wife issued a temporary domestic violence restraining order after a series of "frightening" incidents that also included their two-year-old son, former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson issued a statement Saturday on Instagram.
The 35-year-old Ferguson wrote that he's in great spirits and specifically thanked both fans and UFC management for the support.
Ferguson's wife Cristina filed the request Wednesday in Orange County (Calif.) Superior Court and alleged her husband forced his way onto the property of her parents' house, pushed her and her mother away and then forcefully took their son for six days.
According to the court documents obtained Friday by MMAFighting, Ferguson's wife claimed he "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."
After the restraining order was filed, Santa Ana Police arrived at Ferguson's residence and removed the child without incident. Although Ferguson wasn't arrested or charged with any crimes, it was revealed that Santa Ana police had been called to the family's house several times over the previous 14 months with Ferguson's wife accusing him of erratic and, at times, "psychotic" behavior.
The restraining order requests Ferguson stay away from his son, along with his wife's parents and brother. Ferguson's wife also asked that her husband undergo a 52-week batterer intervention program complete with a psychiatric evaluation and potential treatment plan. In addition, Ferguson's wife is seeking full custody of their child out of fear that Tony Ferguson will flee with their son.
Further details provided by Ferguson's wife regarding his "forceful" removal of their son included Ferguson leaving behind both his cell phone and car while running away on foot in the rain with their son, who wasn't wearing shoes or a diaper.
The court has scheduled a domestic violence prevention services investigation for Ferguson on March 22 and a hearing for April 5.
Ferguson (24-3) hasn't fought since a miraculous comeback from knee surgery last July when he stopped former champion Anthony Pettis in their fight-of-the-year contender at UFC 229. He reportedly turned down an interim title shot in April against Max Holloway which left no timetable for a possible return.