The reports have been confirmed by UFC President Dana White during the UFC 278 post-fight press conference that former interim champion Tony Ferguson will be heading back to the welterweight division to face the rising Chinese fighter Li Jingliang. The fight is scheduled as a co-main event at UFC 279 which is headlined by Khamzat Chimaev vs Nate Diaz.
Following his devastating loss to Michael Chandler, Tony Ferguson revealed his plan to move up to the 170lb division in an interview with MMA Junkie. He added that he was very comfortable in that division and now he doesn’t like to be in the 155lb category anymore.
"I wouldn't mind going back up to 170 [lbs.]. I knocked everybody out at 170. This cut to 155 is not too hard but I lose a lot of muscle mass man, I fuck**g hate being skinny like that. I look like a little bitch. I fucking don't like that."
El Cucuy made his UFC debut as a welterweight. Ferguson is the winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 13 welterweight finale. n the TUF final, he secured a first-round knockout win against Ramsey Nijem.
The last two years have been very rough for Ferguson as he faced 4 consecutive defeats against notable names like Michael Chandler, Beneil Dariush, Charles Oliveira, and Justin Gaethje. It looks like he is kind of hungry for the win and intends to shatter his losing streak when he steps into the cage against Li Jingliang. El Cucuy will return to his old turf after he was seen training with the coaches and fighters at Jackson-Wink Academy in Albuquerque as he looks to get back on the winning track.
Li Jingliang will be back in action after an impressive ‘’Performance of the Night’’ win against Muslim Salikhov via TKO back in July 2022. He is currently 2-2 in his last four outings with an additional win over Argentinian sensation Santiago Ponzinibbio while getting dropped by Khamzat Chimaev and Neil Magny.
Tony Ferguson is getting criticized by his fans as they think he should have waited a bit longer. He should have analyzed himself and then look out for the options. There were options like Dan Hooker and Conor McGregor who would have been worthy opponents for El Cucuy. While Khabib has already given a piece of advice for Ferguson that he should retire.