The organization did so with a compelling, 13-fight card in UFC Fight Night 98.
The card was topped by an anticipated lightweight bout that promised to thrust the winer directly into lightweight title contention. In one corner, we had former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos, who was keen to rebound from a July title loss to new champion Eddie Alvarez. In the other, we had dangerous contender Tony Ferguson, who looked to extend his streak to 9 with a big win in his ancestral home of Mexico.
Despite the grappling accolades of these two men, this fight was contested nearly entirely on the feet. There, the two lightweights pelted each other with a sprawling array of strikes, from the typical punches and kicks to rocket-fuelled knees and expertly timed spinning attacks. Though both men had plenty of success over the course of this Fight of the Night winning battle, it was Ferguson who realized the greater success. As a result, he was handed a 48-47 score by all three judges; the recipe for a nice, unanimous decision win.
In the moments after this win, Ferguson and Dos Anjos both spoke to Octagon-side commentator Jon Anik about the fight.
Ferguson, who was on the mic first, kept things short and sweet, thanking Dos Anjos for the action-packed fight, and offering some love to the passionate Mexican crowd before returning to his team to celebrate.
Dos Anjos was interviewed next. When asked by Anik for an assessment of the fight, the crestfallen former champ mentioned a second-round eye poke that he said caused him to see double, but was ultimately complimentary of his foe.
“HIS FINGER IN MY EYES BOTHERED THEM A LITTLE BIT IN THE SECOND, I WAS SEEING DOUBLE, BUT THAT’S NO EXCUSE,” DOS ANJOS TOLD ANIK. “TONY DID A GREAT JOB. HE WAS THE BETTER FIGHTER TODAY.”
What did you think of Ferguson and Dos Anjos’ bonus-winning battle? Sound off, PENN Nation!