Former interim UFC lightweight champion, Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson is in line for his Octagon return — as he attempts to snap a two-fight skid at UFC 262 on May 15 — drawing the #9 ranked contender, surging grappler, Beneil Dariush.
Dropping two consecutive fights for the first time in his career during the course of last year, the Oxnard native first blemished in a short-notice interim title affair against fellow former interim gold holder, Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 last May in Jacksonville, Florida.
For longtime Kings MMA trainee, Dariush, the Iranian born grappler managed to lodge his sixth consecutive win recently at UFC Vegas 18 — knocking back then-streaking contender, Diego Ferreira via unanimous decision in their February rematch. MMA Junkie reporters, Danny Segura, Mike Bohn, and John Morgan were first to report the news of the matchup.
Ferguson, a former interim lightweight champion as well as the victor of The Ultimate Fighter 13 welterweight tournament under Team Lesnar, suffered his second defeat of last year in a co-main event feature at UFC 256 in December.
Drawing the now #3 ranked, Charles Oliveira, Ferguson struggled with the Sao Paulo submission specialist’s offensive grappling and pressing, active striking across each of the sanctioned three rounds — on his way to a relatively one-sided unanimous decision loss.
Tying still billed undisputed lightweight champion, rival, Khabib Nurmagomedov for the most consecutive wins at 155-pounds, Ferguson took a whopping twelve-straight successes. Among his wins, Ferguson has bested the likes of Josh Thomson, Edson Barboza, Rafael dos Anjos, Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone, and at UFC 216, wrapped up a third round triangle to submit Kevin Lee.
Decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player, Dariush is a three-time no-gi BJJ world champion, notching an eye-catching eight separate submission wins from his twenty-five fight career.
Besting the above mentioned, Fortis MMA standout, Ferreira for the second time in his professional run, Dariush has managed to lodge recent wins over both Scott Holtzman and Drakkar Klose, to go along with prior successes against Frank Camacho, Drew Dober, and fellow grappling ace, American Top Team staple, Thiago Moises.