Tony Ferguson picked up his eighth straight win inside the Octagon last night (Weds., July 13, 2016) by taking out Lando Vannata in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 91 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
It wasn't easy, though, as "El Cucuy" had to survive multiple scares from the Jackson-Wink MMA-trained fighter in a thrilling first round of action that saw Tony hit the deck on more than one occasion.
But, the tough-nosed veteran shook off the cobwebs and managed to sink in a d'arce choke halfway through the second frame to pick up the win and avoid a huge upset, getting sent to the back of the 155-pound line in the process.
With eight wins in his back pocket, it's easy to assume Ferguson would be the front-runner to get first dibs against newly-crowned Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.
Alas, "the system" doesn't always work that way.
Do I believe Tony deserves a shot at the title? Absolutely! He hasn't lost since 2013. Will he get it?
That's another story.
While his win over Vannata was impressive, taking out the newcomer doesn't do a whole lot for his title hopes, much like Khabib Nurmagomedov's win over Darrel Horcher didn't do much for his. Had he taken on and defeated Michael Chiesa, his original opponent, chances are he'd still likely have to win one more fight.
Because let's face it, that scrap didn't exactly scream No. 1 contender fight. No disrespect, "Maverick."
Plus, Nurmagomedov is also campaigning for his own shot at Alvarez, and may have a better case based on win streak and ranking status (No. 1). That said, Ferguson isn't far behind, as he sits at No. 3 and the next four guys are far from deserving of a championship bout at 155 pounds.
Even Rafael dos Anjos will have two win a few more fights before he can get back to the big dance.
So, it really doesn't take a genius to see what Joe Silva and Co. are going to do next, as the odds of UFC matchmakers re-booking Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson are pretty high.
After all, Alvarez is currently in vacation mode and is in no mood to respond to callouts. So while he's busy celebrating another world championship with some pina coladas, "The Eagle" and "El Cucuy" can start preparing for their 155-pound scrap.
It only makes sense, and the winner can then lay claim to sole rights for the next title shot at 155 pounds.
No questions asked.