UFC 256 is due to host one of the best three round fights of the year this weekend when Tony Ferguson stands across the cage from Charles Oliveira in the co-main event.
‘El Cucuy’ makes his return to the octagon following his violent defeat in May to Justin Gaethje, which snapped a company-high 13 fight winning streak. Charles Oliveira comes into this fight on a seven fight winning streak of his own, with his submission win over Kevin Lee in March extending his record for most tap out wins in UFC history.
Both men are more than in the conversation when it comes to the elites of the lightweight division and both will be hopeful that a win will put them into the title picture, depending on what happens with Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2021.
It’s a fight that will excite all the hardcore fans but should appeal to the casual fan, with both fighters generally putting in their best performances when battling chaos.
Both Ferguson and Oliveira are excellent strikers, with great power in their hands, explosive kicks and wild technique making them supremely unpredictable. They also both possess good wrestling skills to get takedowns and very aggressive submission games with their black-belts in jiu-jitsu.
It’s a fight where the margin for error will be incredibly low for both guys, with the ability to hone in on any mistakes and punish in an instant evident in both their styles.
The biggest question mark in this fight in reality is how Tony Ferguson will react to his defeat in May. Going into that fight, he was the boogeyman of the division and seemed like he had everyone’s number. But then Gaethje walked through him.
That performance from Gaethje was one of the best individual performances we’ve seen in a UFC octagon, but the beating Ferguson took was bad. It was so bad in fact, that referee Herb Dean ended up stopping the fight because of a jab that left Ferguson wobbling.
We haven’t seen him since barring a few training videos and how he responds to that fight will be very telling. In all honesty, if both are at their optimal level then it should be a pretty convincing win for El Cucuy.
We don’t know if that’s what we’re going to get though and that is what makes this fight so exciting. Whatever happens, this is a fight worthy of it’s hype and spot on the card.