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‘TUF 13′ Winner Tony Ferguson Drops to Lightweight to Face Aaron Riley at UFC 135


(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]

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fACE7biter- June 28, 2011 at 11:39 am
I'll always hold Tony in high regard for separating Ramsey from his senses, and sending his hype train off the rails.
Far as this last TUF goes, I didn't think Team Lesnars victory received nearly as much praise as it should have. Everybody thought Brcok would positively suck as a coach, and despite multiple injuries, his team ends up winning. Also, Tony said he owed his impressive wrestling at the finale to training with Lesnar personally before the fight. Maybe the diverticuwhatever aspect of the story stole everyones attention.
MKO- June 28, 2011 at 10:37 am
That dickhead may have been a huge dickhead (lost my thesaurus), but yeah, he's probably the most promising looking fighter to come outta the show in a while.
As far as weight classes, again, if you can make the weight, fight where you want. I didn't think he was that big at 170.
KidDinomite- June 28, 2011 at 10:11 am
Tony Feguson is one of the best prospects I've seen come out of TUF period. His boxing as well as his movement is crisp and he has a good wrestling base as well. Homey needs to work on holding his liquor but I think the whole TUF experience and backlash against him has helped him see his shortcomings. If he can keep up his level of fighing skill, I predict a future title contender.


Also, I hope Diego Sanchez really worked on his overall skills and weight for this fight. The last couple of his outings he looked fat and his skill in the Octagon looks as though it actually diminished since losing to BJ Penn. I'm hoping he gets to the place he needs to be in order to get back to contention.
Nealio- June 28, 2011 at 9:24 am
@danomite

I got $100 on a staph infection like Matt Hammil had.
danomite- June 28, 2011 at 8:53 am
Is it too late to have a fightpicker contest to guess the reason why Nate Marquardt was fired? I think he's gonna announce it today.
danomite- June 28, 2011 at 8:50 am
I don't see how this guy makes 155. I thought he looked huge on the show. Of course, I didn't think Nate Marquardt could make 170 either, so that shows how much I know.
Stak40- June 28, 2011 at 8:50 am
Im more looking forward to the Rothwell vs Hunt than any other fight on this card. Sad i know.
Everlast66- June 28, 2011 at 8:48 am
If the UFC didn't want him fighting at lightweight, he wouldn't be, whether it was in a contract or not. They obviously don't mind, otherwise they would have made him take a fight (or multiple fights) at welterweight.
Machiavelli- June 28, 2011 at 8:43 am
Matt Hughes is not the main event but I bet he'll make as much as either of the title fighters. That's too bad.
youenjoyzedella- June 28, 2011 at 8:35 am
@ LOKI
WHY?? Tony Ferguson isn't a welterweight. That's what make these guys so much more beast. They saw an opportunity to fight on TUF, even though it wasn't their weight class. AND WON. I don't see what forcing them to fight in a weight class achieves.
LOKI- June 28, 2011 at 7:53 am
If they needed another LW, they would have featured LWs. There should be a stipulation in TUF contracts that the winner has to have at least his first 3 UFC fights at the weightclass he won the show in.
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