The Men’s Lightweight Division is the only vacant Ultimate Fighting Championship title. Traditionally, some of the sport’s most famous artists hail from this division. From Khabib Nurmagomedov to Conor McGregor, some of the most exciting fights in the organization’s history have come from this group of elite athletes.
Main event this weekend in Houston will be crowned king of the division when Charles Oliveira faces Michael Chandler for the vacant belt. Reality, Four of the division’s ten best fighters They are set to fight in the upcoming main card event. By the end of the evening, not only will there be a new champion, but there will also be a clearer understanding of who is the division’s biggest competitors.
One lightweight fighter who finds himself in a must-ha this weekend is Tony Ferguson. He is currently ranked fifth in the division, and his impressive win could send him back to the top tier of title contenders. However, the loss would be a huge disappointment, the kind of setback that could damage his title chances for a very long time.
Once upon a time, Tony Ferguson was the World Lightweight Champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Six months after winning the vacant crown against Kevin Lee, he was scheduled to face a popular and upcoming comeback by the name of Khabib Nurmagomedov. While Khabib was unbeaten until that point, there were a large group of fans who absolutely expected the champ to successfully defend his belt. However, a week before the fight, Ferguson had suffered a rupture of the fibular collateral ligament. With the mantra saying “the show must go on” in full, Ferguson was stripped of the title due to his inability to perform. Khabib will go on to win the newly vacated belt. He proved to be an indomitable hero, Will not lose again until his final retirement in more than two years.
Tony Ferguson’s sudden injury in April 2018 changed the course of his career forever. Since that day, his quest to be known once again as a hero has failed. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why this weekend’s match against Benil Driouch is a must for the fighter known as El Cucuy.
He could not bear the third loss in a row
After being stripped of the UFC Lightweight Championship, Ferguson won his next two matches. He seemed to have regained his magic and the organization was ready to reward him for his efforts. He’s got a main event fight against Justin Githji. Unfortunately for Ferguson, the event did not go as planned. A powerful punch in the fifth round by Geithji in the fifth round ended the match before hitting the referees’ scorecards. Ferguson’s twelve winning streak has ended.
In December of 2020, Ferguson got a chance at salvation when he encounters the hugely popular Charles Oliveira. Find himself on the wrong side of a one-sided relationship; Oliveira departed from his unanimous decision by victory.
Ferguson has managed to maintain his relevance and currently finds himself ranked 5th among the fighters in the division. A great performance this weekend could push him back into a serious belt feud. However, a third consecutive loss could see him drop out of the top ten altogether.
His opponent in a six-fight wins series
The last time Benell Drioche Losing a match, Jeff Bezos had yet to become the richest man in the world and “Havana” was still the hottest song on the radio. Not only did he win six fights in a row, but he did it in an amazing way. Four of the six wins came by surrender or knockout. Simply, it means business and should not be taken lightly.
Dariush is the type of opponent who can help build a resume or can help destroy one. He is not one of the biggest names in the department yet, but he is well respected. If Tony Ferguson performs well against him, he could refer to the match as a good win. However, if Ferguson lost, his detractors would paint the event as a match in which he lost to the underdog.
An opportunity to perform in a joint main event
Dana White is known for giving fans what they want. If Ferguson wanted the title, he would have to shout the crowd to see him against the champ in the Octagon. The best way to do this is to make an offer while getting the most exposure possible. This weekend, his showdown against Penil Driouch was the main joint event. While fans may not be pinned to screen in initial fights, by the end of the night, they are perfectly tuned with every kick, punch, and grappling exchange in the octagon. Tony Ferguson has a chance to grab the attention of the entire mixed martial arts world this weekend. It is an opportunity that should not be taken lightly.
Support the exchange of a hot press conference
Rarely does a fighter need more motivation to perform better than he can gather just by looking at his opponent. However, Tony Ferguson made it clear at this week’s press conference that he has more than just Benell Darius on his mind as he prepares for the fight. More than anything, he’s upset that Michael Chandler had a title in his second fight in the organization. There were rumors that Chandler was going to fight Ferguson for his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut. Instead, Dan Hooker fought in a one-sided affair. Chandler was one of the most famous fighters in the Lightweight Pilator Division and Dana White plans to cash in on his popularity after his UFC enlistment. Tony’s accusations that Chandler dodged him when he joined the UFC stole all of the headlines for this week’s press conference. If he wants to prove he’s a fighter worth dodging, Ferguson will have to pitch this weekend.
If Tony Ferguson wanted to reclaim the UFC Lightweight Championship, he would have to do so sooner rather than later. Usually 37-year-old athletes are past their prime, with only a select few who have experienced glory as they approach forty. Ferguson has a chance to return to the championship conversation with a great performance this weekend. The man he defeated in his last fight will watch as he clashes with the man he thinks have evaded him as they face each other for the vacant tournament at the end of the night. No one in the arena could have had a special interest in the entire evening more than Ferguson. He drew attention to himself at this week’s press conference. Now, the only thing left to do is get into an appraiser and prove it’s worth it.
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