Tony Ferguson captured The Ultimate Fighter title with a decisive victory over Ramsey Nijem this past June.
Now, Ferguson (12-3) will get back inside the Octagon when he meets Aaron Riley at UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage this Saturday night.
The Ferguson-Riley bout is slated for the Spike TV prelims special, which airs an hour before the pay-per-view starts.
Ferguson will be returning to the lightweight division, where he last competed in 2010 with a victory over David Gardner. Eleven of his 12 career wins have come via stoppage, including eight KO/TKO wins.
“I was more aggressive in that fight,” Ferguson said. “When I don’t want to cut weight and I have to cut weight, it makes me a little bit more aggressive. I was mentally more focused and zeroed in because I had to cut weight.”
As a former wrestler at Grand Valley State University, cutting weight is nothing new to Ferguson, who won a national championship on the mat.
“I remember every single drill that every coach that I’ve ever had made us do, whether it’s footwork drills or push-ups – it doesn’t matter,” Ferguson said. “I remember it in my head and I still utilize all of it.
“When I played football, I was a cornerback and we won state in 2000 and we played where the Detroit Lions play. I still wear my championship ring on my right hand. I wear my team national championship ring from Grand Valley State on my left. I succeeded in three sports: football, baseball and wrestling. That’s what kept me out of trouble and kept me in school.”
Riley (30-12-1) has went 3-2 in his UFC career, winning his last bout over Joe Brammer at UFC 114.
UFC 135 takes place this Saturday, and FightLine.com will have complete, up-to-date coverage of all the action.