If Tony Ferguson wasn't in the conversation as a top-ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contender prior to UFC Fight Night 71, he should be now.
"El Cucuy" picked up his sixth straight win earlier tonight (Weds., July 15, 2015), defeating 14-year veteran Josh Thomson inside Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, Calif., by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) in a dominant and bloody affair, which should be a leading contender for "Fight of the Night."
After a few minor exchanges in the first minute, Thomson caught a Ferguson kick and dumped the No.10-ranked UFC 155-pound fighter to the floor. "Punk" would charge in as Ferguson got to his feet, but "El Cucuy" circled out of harms way.
WIth one minute left, Ferguson attempted an ill-advised jumping knee, which Thomson caught and then dumped him down to the canvas. Ferguson would threaten from his guard, but could not find a submission against the savvy veteran.
In the second round, Ferguson connected on a huge standing elbow that dropped Thomson. Ferguson smelled blood and jumped on "Punk," but was unable to capitalize. Ferguson was admonished by referee Herb Dean for holding the fence and the two were stood up.
Ferguson then, again, dropped the former Strikeforce champion on the restart. And this time he locked up a triangle while elbowing Thomson's head, cutting the 36-year old fighter. Thomson would pop out of the triangle, but Ferguson would threaten with a kimura and continue to put pressure on him.
Thomson turtled up and Ferguson continued to drill him with pot shots. Showing his heart and experience, a bloody -- but not beaten -- Thomson eventually made it back to his feet as the round concluded.
Thomson came out aggressive in the third frame and went in on a single and then threw a spinning-back fist on the break. Ferguson, once again, found a home for a standing elbow and blood would begin to trickle down Thomson's face. The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 13 winner landed a big kick to the body with about two minutes left and continued to pick away at Thomson.
With one minute left, Ferguson landed a big knee to make Thomson hit the deck once more, and almost secured a D'arce choke. Thomson survived the submission attempt and made it to the end of the fight.
It was a truly impressive victory for Ferguson, who has now won six fights in the row, which is no easy feat in UFC's stacked Lightweight division. He improves to 20-3. Three losses in a row for Thomson, who falls to 20-8 (1).
For complete UFC Fight Night 71 "Mir vs. Duffee" results, including play-by-play updates, click here.