Tony Ferguson will face Charles Oliveira on Dec 12. Ferguson’s last fight was against Justin Gaethje for the interim title but fell short. Gathje instead fought Khabib for the undisputed title. Ferguson was supposed to fight Khabib for the undisputed but due to the pandemic, Khabib was not able to leave the country.
Ferguson has never fought for the official title even though he was on a 12 fight win streak. He has fought for the interim title twice, it was against Kevin Lee and Justin Gaethje. The Khabib-Ferguson fight has been booked many times but was always canceled. It is either Khabib or Tony pulling out due to injury or health issues. The last schedule was due to the Pandemic.
The biggest possible fight that was canceled was during UFC 223. It was for the undisputed title since McGregor was stripped for being inactive in the MMA game. Both were the undisputed top 2 fighters in the division but due to some accident of cables in Tony’s accident, the fight was pulled. Max Holloway was then booked but pulled out as well. In the end, it was Al Iaquinta that fought for the title.
It is kinda unfair for Ferguson who was on the longest win streak in the UFC, never fought for the undisputed title, it may be due to timing, injury, or because of the organization itself. It would be astonishing if Ferguson does win the undisputed title knowing that he is already 36 years old.
Ferguson is fighting a young hungry contender who is on a 7 win streak. Charles Oliveira is still getting better, his last was against Kevin Lee via guillotine choke. Oliveira has also fought in the Featherweight division but was unsuccessful in getting in a title run.
He then went back to the lightweight division, though has lost against Paul Felder. He is just getting better and will probably be not in his prime yet. It just shows that he is not afraid of the boogeyman of the division.
In terms of stylistically, both fighters have the same style. They both have decent but not the best striking, and the ground game is what sets them apart from the division. Both are difficult to prepare for since they are unpredictable and unorthodox. It would be an interesting test for Oliveira if he deserves to be the best in the division and also if Ferguson’s loss has affected him.
Michael Chandler who is about to make his UFC debut called out Tony Ferguson to showcase how high rank he deserves. Ferguson has shown interest and posted a tweet that he accepts the challenge but Chandler then started making excuses that he does not want to fight Ferguson in December but is willing if it was on the co-main event of Mcgregor vs Poirier. Ferguson just wanted to fight within the year so Charles Oliveira was the opponent booked.
Most fans would say that Chandler has yet to prove so Oliveira deserves it more. Ben Askren when he debuted was almost in an adversary match. He almost lost to Robbie Lawler in the opening round but recovered and submitted him and the last two fights he lost by knockout and submission. Askren was already inactive and was supposed to have a hip replacement.