Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight studs Tony Ferguson and Edson Barboza collided last night (Dec. 11, 2015) at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 22 Finale inside "The Chelsea" at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ferguson has simply been running through fighters. "El Cucuy" has finished the majority of the men he's faced inside the Octagon, and he was hoping for that trend to continue in this bout.
Meanwhile, Barboza has been slowly shoring up the holes in his game since joining the UFC. After these improvements, Barboza was now planning to finally go on a title run.
Instead, Ferguson made a strong bid for a title shot.
In classic Ferguson style, the top contender started wildly. In the first minute, Ferguson walked into about a dozen counter strikes while trying to drill his opponent with punches, failed on a takedown attempt, and then attempted a side roll into a kneebar.
From the attempted kneebar position, Ferguson landed an illegal upkick, which cost "El Cucuy" a point.
Back on their feet, Ferguson continued to attack with relentless pressure. However, Barboza did a fantastic job of countering his opponent, both with kicks and hard body punches. He even caught a kick and landed a brief takedown.
Though he was out-struck and lost the round, Ferguson never stopped coming forward and did land his own shots.
Ferguson continued to pressure to start the second, and he used an elbow to open up bloody cut. Barboza responded by catching a kick and scoring with another trip takedown, but he wasn't able to do anything before Ferguson returned to his feet.
The next highlight came when Ferguson landed a nasty spinning elbow. Then, Barboza attempted a takedown, which was stuffed. However, it also allowed Ferguson to secure the front head lock.
From that position, Ferguson forced Barboza back to the mat and immediately attacked with the d'arce. Moments later, the lanky fighter had the position locked in, and he forced his opponent to tap.
First of all, Ferguson is mentally and physically one of the toughest and most durable fighters to ever compete in the lightweight division. He walked through some truly hellacious shots to the legs, body, and head, but never once did he let up on the pressure and back away from his goal.
If we're being honest, Ferguson got his ass beat standing. His opponent landed the far cleaner and harder shots and even landed more of them, but it didn't matter. Ferguson was a terminator, and he never stopped attacking his opponent.
Considering how volatile his finishing ability is, Barboza needed to do more than pick Ferguson apart. To win, the Brazilian needed to pitch a shutout, otherwise Ferguson was eventually going to break him down.
After this win, Ferguson deserves a title shot. His win streak is spectacular, and Ferguson has a unique strategy. Make it happen.
Barboza lost and was finished by a fellow contender, which obviously makes this a terrible night for him. However, Barboza fought excellently. His counter striking was gorgeous, and against any other fighter, the brutal strikes he was landing would've earned him some respect and forced his opponent to back off a bit.
Unfortunately, Barboza's biggest issue in this bout was cardio. He came in on short-notice and couldn't keep up with his opponent. It was clear that Barboza was beginning to slow down in the second, and that caused him to make a mistake.
Ferguson simply capitalized.
Regardless of this loss, Barboza is still a top lightweight. After this loss, a scrap with the loser of Anthony Pettis and Eddie Alvarez would be fantastic.
Last night, Tony Ferguson showcased his unique talent by finishing Edson Barboza. is Ferguson a future champion?
For complete Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale "Edgar vs Mendes" fight results and play-by-play, click HERE!