CHICAGO (AP) — Tony Ferguson’s path to the lightweight title is becoming clear.
Ferguson won by technical knockout after a medical stoppage in a lightweight fight against Donald Cerrone at UFC 238 on Saturday night.
Ferguson (26-3) won his 12th straight fight, the longest active streak in the UFC, after a doctor stopped the fight after the second round after checking on the swelling of Cerrone’s right eye.
Cerrone was taken to a hospital with an orbital fracture.
With the win, Ferguson moved into a position to face the winner of the lightweight unification title fight between champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champ Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in September.
“If me and Cowboy (Cerrone) don’t fight again, I want that title shot. I’ve had that title, I feel that’s why it’s such an emotional roller-coaster. I’ve increased my value after this fight tonight. If Poirier cannot do it, I’ll go to Abu Dhabi (UFC 242) and do it myself, and if (Conor) McGregor wants to dance, I have a tune for him too, so regardless I’ll be ready,” Ferguson said.
With the crowd and Cerrone wanting more, and Ferguson getting a late hit in, Ferguson wished the bout didn’t end the way it did.
“It’s not the way I wanted to win. It’s been a big journey, I don’t think anyone had to go through the kind of stuff I had to,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson was back in the cage after a layoff because of personal issues.
Ferguson beat Anthony Pettis in October.
Saturday’s main card also featured two title fights.
In the main event, flyweight champ Henry Cejudo (15-2) overcame a sprained ankle, which he injured during training at his hotel this week, and finished Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) in the third round for the vacated bantamweight championship.
In a women’s flyweight title fight, Valentina Shevchenko (17-3) defended her belt by landing a vicious left kick to the head of Jessica Eye (14-7) early in the second round. Eye was knocked out cold, but she was able to recover and walk off on her own power.