The long-standing lightweight staple has risen from a standout on The Ultimate Fighter to become one of the best 155-pound fighters in the world. There has been plenty of adversity for Ferguson along the way, but "El Cucuy" has flossed and gritted his way through the best of what the highly competitive lightweight fold had to throw his way.
On Saturday night in Las Vegas, the unorthodox scrapper squared off with surging star Kevin Lee for the interim lightweight title at UFC 216. And while the bout started completely against his favor, the resilience in Ferguson has always been his strong suit.
Lee dominated the opening frame with quick shots an overpowering grappling attack that saw the Detroit native move to full mount and unleash a relentless ground and pound attack to close out the round. Ferguson rebounded strong in the second as he began to walk Lee down with pot shots and pressure that put the Las Vegas transplant on the move which served to zap a suspect gas tank full throttle.
Going into the third round it was Ferguson on the attack, and despite Lee scoring an early takedown, it was the California native who sparked the offense from off of his back. Lee somehow found a way to escape from a deep armbar attempt from Ferguson, but had no answer for the leg triangle the perennial contender locked on midway through the round.
Lee tapped. Ferguson celebrated, and a man long overdue of championship gold made good on his mission.
With the win, Ferguson becomes the official interim lightweight champion, and could possibly set up a showdown with undisputed champion Conor McGregor in early 2018.