(Riley’s last tangle with a TUF winner didn’t work out too well for his face. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)
The UFC confirmed last night that Tony Ferguson — who won last season of the Ultimate Fighter by knocking out four dudes consecutively in the welterweight bracket — will make his Octagon return on the UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage card (September 24th, Denver). Now competing at lightweight, Ferguson is slated to meet Team Jackson veteran Aaron Riley (30-12-1, 3-4 UFC), who hasn’t fought since his unanimous decision win over Joe Brammer last May at UFC 114. Riley was scheduled to face Pat Audinwood at UFC 119 later that year but had to withdraw due to injury.
It won’t be the first time that Riley has been drafted to act as a gatekeeper for a brand-new TUF winner. In November 2009 at UFC 105, he faced TUF 9 lightweight champ Ross Pearson and lost by doctor’s stoppage TKO. Between Riley’s inconsistent performances and long layoff, it seems like the UFC is counting on him to make their new prospect look good. Can ‘El Cucuy’ knock out another one?
The current list of UFC 135′s reported matchups is after the jump…
- Jon Jones vs. Quinton Jackson [for light-heavyweight title]
- Matt Hughes vs. Diego Sanchez [WW]
- Norifumi Yamamoto vs. Damacio Page [BW]
- Ben Rothwell vs. Mark Hunt [HW]
- Travis Browne vs. Rob Broughton [HW]
- Takanori Gomi vs. Nate Diaz [LW]
- Tony Ferguson vs. Aaron Riley [LW]