Can Tony Ferguson Still Prove Himself?

Photo Courtesy: Newaza Apparel

By Kyler Kuehler

Number two-ranked lightweight Tony Ferguson is making his return to the octagon at UFC 229 against former champion Anthony Pettis.

Ferguson originally was going to face Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 for the lightweight title. That fell through after suffering an injury causing him to withdraw from the bout. A fight that fans have been waiting for blew up for the fourth time. It was so bad it knocked Ferguson out of title contention.

Now that he faces a former champion, ranked number eight he might have a chance to get back into the title picture.

It might not seem great to face an opponent ranked below, but when they are a former champion it’s perfect.

Ferguson’s current record consist of 23-3; Pettis’ consist of 21-7. All right, so they have impressive records and look to add another.

Based on experience Pettis might show just a little better striking ability from his boxing and Muay Thai. Nine victories via knockout are something Ferguson needs take into consideration.

However, Ferguson has nine victories of his own compiled from his boxing technique. This will be a close fight on their feet, but what about the ground? Is that where Ferguson can expose how he is still dangerous?

It is with his combinations of jiu-jitsu and wrestling leaving him with nine submission victories.

Pettis, on the other hand, holds eight of his own from his jiu-jitsu and some wrestling. So he has grappling to use and counter Ferguson’s.

However, Pettis’ has been showing a great decline in his performances lately and even has had trouble against skilled grapplers.

Not looking good for Pettis, but it looks great for Ferguson. By bringing the fight to the ground he would surely stand the highest chance against the former champion. There he could ground-and-pound and weaken Pettis enough to finish him with a submission hold.

Sounds like Ferguson all right, but Pettis did prove he still has plenty of fight left in him. With his submission victory over submission specialist Michael Chiesa in round one, Ferguson could be up for a challenge.

But that will be all he needs. To beat an opponent such as Pettis he proves that he is still coming for the belt.

Though Khabib Nurmagomedov will defend the title against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 Ferguson eyes a title shot with another impressive victory.

No matter who wins fans just want to see him fight as they know he has great potential.