UFC 256: Tony Ferguson and Charles Oliveira Look to Earn Lightweight Title Shot
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Saturday, December 12, 2020
The final UFC pay-per-view event of the year, UFC 256, takes place night live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card looks like it will make for a highly entertaining event as the UFC wraps up a truly unique year in their history. This year has seen the UFC adapt with the ongoing pandemic and even set a standard for other promotions and sports leagues to safely resume events.
Although the main event for the UFC Flyweight Championship between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will get the most attention, many fans will be keeping an eye on the co-main event between Tony Ferguson and Charles Oliveira because the winner could be in line for a future Lightweight title shot.
Ferguson will be returning to the octagon for the first time since his defeat to Justin Gaethje in their interim UFC Lightweight Championship bout back at UFC 249 in May, which was the first UFC event following a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ferguson’s resilience was put on full display as he took a significant amount of damage but continued fighting before the referee stepped in to stop the fight towards the end of the fifth round. After 7-months off, “El Cucuy” is back and looking to get back on track and back in title contention in a stacked division. His opponent, Oliveira, is looking for the same and to get his first title opportunity after winning 7 straight fights heading into tonight’s co-main event.
Ferguson has an opportunity to end the year on a high note and put his loss to Gaethje behind him and set his sights on 2021.
Oliveira is one of the most dangerous submission experts in the UFC; he holds the UFC record for most submission victories in the promotion, 12, and some have compared his path to a title shot to his opponent, Ferguson, in that he has had a long winning streak but has yet to earn a title shot or interim title fight.
Oliveira last fought in March, when the promotion held their first event behind closed doors in Brazil prior to the shutdown. Oliveira earned his twelfth submission victory when he defeated Kevin Lee in the third round and at the same time, earned a Performance of the Night bonus, which was his sixth during his seven fight winning streak
Currently, the UFC lightweight division is arguably the promotion’s best and depending on the status of current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, there could be a new champion crowned early in the new year if he decides that he would like to stay retired and vacate the championship.
Former champion Conor McGregor will be fighting former interim champion Dustin Poirier in January and former WSOF Lightweight Champion and interim UFC Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje could be welcoming former Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler to the octagon, the winner of tonight’s fight could be the one to fight one of those men for the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship.
Credit: UFC (@ufc)