UFC 135: Aaron Riley plans on making TUF 13 champ Tony Ferguson earn his contract on Sept. 24

via cdn0.sbnation.com

No fighter wants to be labeled "The Gatekeeper."

The position sounds important. In a way, it is. Unfortunately, it can also be replaced with the less flattering synonymous term of "stepping stone."

On Sat., Sept. 24 in Denver, Colorado, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight Aaron Riley will welcome former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) competitor Tony Ferguson to the 155-pound division at UFC 135.

Ferguson will not only be fighting to prove he belongs in the UFC, but also that he's more than just the "angry drunk" character from a reality television series.

Riley had a few things to say to Heavy.com about Ferguson's antics on the show.

"The thing is, what I don't like is when people go on the show, act up, and they just get put in these higher profile fights and things," clarified Riley, adding, "I just wanted to make it clear that I do think that the guys from TUF, if they get their wins in the UFC, then they do deserve to be in there."

Riley went on to state his aversion to the quick rise to fame some of the TUF fighters receive, possibly less for their actual ability and more for their bravado and television persona. It's not the first time a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter has voiced concerns of this nature.

"I just seems kind of unfair when you've got guys that are boiling away in the gym, day and night - I know guys that have other jobs besides fighting, they're trying to make it into the big time. They don't have time to do all that other stuff - that acting up; they're too busy just working hard, so it's just kind of nice to see that that doesn't always work out being the bad guy."

Saturday's match-up will spotlight a very interesting match-up between a veteran fighter and a rising up-and-comer. Riley has 43 MMA bouts under his belt. Ferguson has 13. Interestingly enough, there is only a three year age difference between the two athletes (Riley is 30 and Ferguson is 27). 

Both fighters are coming off a win. Both have something to prove.

The strategies of the respective fighters is not a secret. In all likelihood, Ferguson will want to keep things on the feet, whereas Riley will probably look for the takedown as soon as the opportunity presents itself. 

"Riley vs. Ferguson" will be one of two preliminary fights featured on Spike TV, after the Facebook prelims and directly before the pay-per-view (PPV) main card begins.

What say you, Maniacs? Is Ferguson just another "bad boy" getting air time for his bad behavior? Do you expect Riley to get the win and prove he's nobody's stepping stone?

Weigh in!

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MMAmania.com

You must be a member of MMAmania.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMAmania.com. You should read them.

Join MMAmania.com

You must be a member of MMAmania.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMAmania.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker