Tony Ferguson is currently being snubbed in the lightweight title picture for the Conor McGregor show, but at UFC Fight Night 98, he’ll get an opportunity to solidify his standing in the division by taking on former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos.
Both fighters were in Mexico City early on Friday to weigh in.
Dos Anjos is returning after losing the lightweight title in a shocking first round knockout loss to Eddie Alvarez back in July. The loss snapped a five-fight win streak that stretched beyond the numbers. Seeing the way dos Anjos obliterated world-class fighters like Nate Diaz, Benson Henderson, Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone put him in the pound-for-pound category.
Many believed he would hold onto the title for a very long time. But the same can be said about nearly every champion in UFC history. The truth of the matter is that it’s harder to stay on top than to make it to the top. Dos Anjos could only successfully muster one defense during his reign, but he hopes to get another shot at it with an impressive performance against Ferguson.
“[Losing the title] was a bitter pill to swallow, but I’m building myself back and I’ll be stronger than ever,” dos Anjos said in a promotional video. “… [Ferguson] is kind of an unconventional fighter. He throws spinning back elbows, knees and hits kind of come wide open. I think he has no idea what he’s in for. One punch can change the whole thing. I want to make a statement. I want to go out there and show the world that I’m the true champion.”
Ferguson is overdue a title shot after putting together an eight-fight win streak. He is coming off back-to-back submission wins over Edson Barboza and Lando Vannata. If not for McGregor’s bid at history, he might very well have been competing against Alvarez for lightweight gold.
But he can at least find solace in a chance to fight the former champion. It would be hard to deny him a title shot with nine straight wins, including a victory over dos Anjos.
“I hope [dos Anjos] gives me the fight that I want,” said Ferguson. “He hasn’t presented anything to me and won’t present anything to me that I have not seen before. He hasn’t prepared like I have, he can’t take a hit. This is my time now. I’m going to make the guy quit. I’m just going into these fights and leaving it all out there. I’m looking for that flawless victory.”
UFC Fight Night 98 also features a lightweight scrap between Diego Sanchez and Marcin Held, as well as fight between featherweight contenders Ricardo Lamas and Charles Oliveira.
The full results from the weigh-ins are posted below.
Main Card (FOX Sports 1 at 10 p.m. ET)
- Rafael dos Anjos (156) vs. Tony Ferguson (154)
- Diego Sanchez (156) vs. Marcin Held (156)
- Ricardo Lamas (146) vs. Charles Oliveira (155)*
- Martin Bravo (155) vs. Claudio Puelles (156)
- Beneil Dariush (156) vs. Rashid Magomedov (156)
- Heather Jo Clark (116) vs. Alexa Grasso (116)
Preliminary Card (FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET)
- Erik Perez (136) vs. Felipe Arantes (138)
- Marco Beltran (139) vs. Joe Soto (140)
- Erick Montano (170) vs. Max Griffin (171)
- Henry Briones (136) vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade (133)
Undercard (UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET)
- Sam Alvey (186) vs. Alex Nicholson (186)
- Marco Polo Reyes (155) vs. Jason Novelli (156)
- Enrique Barzola (146) vs. Chris Avila (146)
* Oliveira will forfeit 20 percent of his purse to Lamas for missing weight.