Let’s be honest, Tony Ferguson is never in a boring fight. The Ultimate Fighter season 13 winner has notched 20 finishes in 25 wins, picking up 10 post-fight bonuses and an interim title on the way. We take a look at the five most exciting fights of the perennial top contender, Tony Ferguson.
Tony Ferguson’s Top 5 Most Exciting Fights
1 – Anthony Pettis – UFC 229
UFC 229 saw the return of Tony Ferguson from an injury that had kept him out for a year. His opponent on this occasion was former 155lbs champion, Anthony Pettis. This clash of styles excited fans as both men always come to fight and that is just what they did.
The relentless pace of the fight only added to the drama. Spinning attacks, close courters exchanges, wild kicks, this fight had it all. Ferguson picked up a 10-9 in the first round due mainly to his output. The second round was one of the best you will ever see. Pettis rocked Ferguson badly early on in the second, almost leading to the finish. In typical Tony Ferguson fashion, he tried to forward roll away from danger, only to end up on the bottom. He cut Pettis badly with one of his infamous elbows in an exchange, leading to the doctor having to take a look at ‘Showtime’. The fight didn’t quite get the finish we were hoping for, with Pettis pulling out due to a broken hand at the end of the second round. For the 10 minutes it lasted, it was an absolute war.
2 – Lando Vannata – UFC Fight Night 91
Originally scheduled to face Michael Chiesa, Tony Ferguson took on promotional newcomer, Lando Vannata at UFC Fight Night 91. What played out was one of the most exciting fights in his career. The newcomer, Vannata wasn’t given much of a chance, with Ferguson coming in at a -750 favourite.
The fight was much closer than many anticipated, with Vannata hurting Ferguson multiple times. Spinning backfists, spinning elbows, superman punches, fighting in a phone booth, this fight had it all. Four minutes into the first round, ‘Groovy’ caught a Ferguson kick and countered with a strong head kick of his own. This looked to be the beginning of the end for Ferguson. Luckily for him, he was able to grab onto a leg and recover for the second round. In the second round, Ferguson managed to lock up a D’arce choke and end it. In an exciting fight for as long as it lasted, Vannata almost got the upset victory.
3 – Edson Barboza – The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale
This blood bath back in 2015 again saw Tony Ferguson pick up the victory via D’Arce choke. Elite striker, Edson Barboza could have caused Ferguson problems on the feet but ‘El Cucuy’ was able to nullify any Barboza attacks. Ferguson was penalised in the first round for upkicking Barboza when he was grounded, which almost saw the premature end to the fight.
Ferguson’s pace really began to take its toll on Barboza in the second round. Visibly tired, Barboza was badly cut by a beautiful step in elbow from Ferguson. From a scramble, Tony Ferguson locked in his infamous D’Arce and ended things. Again, for as long as it lasted, this fight had us all on the edge of our seats.
4 – Donald Cerrone – UFC 238
Another fight, another exhilarating performance by Tony Ferguson. Having taken some time away from the sport to deal with personal issues, Ferguson returned to face UFC veteran Donald Cerrone. Cerrone had gone five rounds just one month prior to this bout and was tipped to give Ferguson problems. What materialised was an exciting fight over 10 minutes.
Ferguson was relentless in walking Cerrone down, nullifying his attacks and managing to cause him problems. The second round was really where Ferguson began to take over. Constantly stinging Cerrone with jabs, kicks to the leg, the body and occasionally to the head, Cerrone was outgunned. Having busted Cerrone up, bloodied his nose and not looking to slow down, the end of the second round came. Marginally after the bell, Ferguson landed a further straight right to an unprotected Cerrone.
The stoppage came between rounds two and three, where Cerrone blew his nose, leading to the swelling of his eye. The doctors deemed it unsafe for Cerrone to continue and giving Ferguson the TKO victory.
5 – Kevin Lee – UFC 216
UFC 216‘s main event saw Tony Ferguson face off against Kevin Lee in an interim lightweight title fight. Going into the bout, both men had gone back and forth, taking jabs at each other constantly.
Lee seemed to be in good condition early on in the fight, getting the upper hand in the first round. He seemed considerably bigger than Ferguson and it showed in the fight. The second round was closer and was certainly entertaining. Ferguson’s wild style mixed with Lee’s more traditional striking offence lead to strange exchanges.
Lee put power into every shot, whereas Ferguson looked to pepper his opponent with a multitude of shots. The beginning of the third round saw Ferguson begin to get into his flow and began to take over. Constantly landing with jabs, Ferguson busted Lee’s nose up. Lee managed to land a takedown but it lead to the Ferguson finish. Lee impressively fought out of an armbar that Ferguson locked in deep. After regaining his guard from the failed armbar attempt, Ferguson locked in a triangle leading to the finish. In this back and forth fight, Ferguson got the victory, extending his winning streak and capturing the interim belt.
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