Jack Ferguson is a fighter in every sense of the word. The mixed martial artist chats with Kayla Hodge from Thailand about where the sport has taken him.
Q What is your connection to Waitaki?
I grew up in Oamaru, and attended Waitaki Boys’ High School. I worked at New World, and the Alliance Group Pukeuri meatworks, before moving to Christchurch to pursue my career as a fighter.
Q Where are you based now?
Now I live in Bangkok, Thailand. I have been here for four years so far, and I’ve learnt to read, write, and speak the Thai language.
Q What made you uproot your life in New Zealand, and shift to Thailand?
I moved here to pursue my career as a fighter because I felt stagnated by comfort in New Zealand. I was too comfortable with too many distractions – the temptations of parties, spending time with my friends, and a 9am to 5pm job that was unrelated to my career. I needed to be in a place where I could have tunnel vision, and focus on becoming more successful in my mixed martial arts career. Since then, I haven’t drunk alcohol in almost two years. I received sponsorship from Marrok Force MMA, in Thailand, to live and train full-time, while being able to represent New Zealand around the world. I accepted the deal and never looked back.
Q How’d you become involved in the sport?
I was first introduced to mixed marital arts by my personal trainer at the time, Jamie Rhodes. We became great friends, and he helped to connect the dots at the beginning of my career. It helped lead me to move to Christchurch, and start training with world-renowned coach Karl Weber. Since then, I have had 16 fights in total, with 11 wins.
Q How is your career’s shaping up since you made the move to Thailand?
My career in Thailand was rocky to begin with. It was definitely a big step up in competition, and I suffered two losses in a row to begin with. But after training on a full-time schedule, I was able to get myself back in the win column, with my last loss being in Australia in 2019.
Q What does a normal training week look like for you?
We train five hours per day, Monday to Saturday. Each class focuses on a different aspect of the sport – striking, grappling and conditioning. Sundays are focused on recovery, including saunas, ice baths, and massage.
Q When did you turn professional?
I went professional about seven years ago, making my debut in Sydney. However, I now compete in different leagues in Asia. My last fights have been in Thailand, Perth, and the Philippines.
Q Any career highlights so far?
My highlight so far has been being able to spend each day doing what I want to do, and being paid to see the world by travelling and competing in different countries.
Q What’s next for you?
At the moment I’m waiting for the borders to open so I can travel, and fight again. I will either return to New Zealand and fight for a title, or I will got Japan and compete – whatever opportunity arises first.
Q What inspires you the most?
I draw my inspiration from knowing that there are people our there who are looking up to me, and set me as their role model to help them pursue their goals, whatever they may be. But I also thrive off being able to do things that people said I couldn’t do.
Q Any long-term goals?
My goals are to be the best version of myself in all aspects of my life. I want to be a successful businessman outside of the ring also.