A big UFC event is around the corner as Tony Ferguson (26-4-0) and Charles Oliveira (29-8-0, 1NC) are going to lock horns at the co-main event of UFC 256. This is going to be the first time for Oliveira to face a top fighter in the UFC lightweight division. Oliveira looks extremely good but there are some talks about his skills against Tony Ferguson who, before losing against Justin Gaethje (22-3-0), has won 12 fights in a row, one of the longest streaks in the UFC history.
Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira has been good earlier this year where he choked Kevin Lee in Brazil and this is going to be a solid asset for the Brazilian. Unlike Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson who faced a stoppage at the hands of Justin Gaethje last may when his 12-fight winning streak has been interrupted. El Cucuy is a deadly monster who has defeated many big names in the cage, and he can absorb the punishment.
Charles Oliveira is undoubtedly good, but he has yet to face the elite opposition in the UFC Lightweight division. As a result, fighting the former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion will be a huge test for him. The professional career of Oliveira proves that he is so good in grappling and he has won more than half of his fights by submission while Tony Ferguson has a mix of strategies and his knockout ratio is higher than the submission one.
In a recent interview, Charles mentioned that the winner of this fight will get a chance for the lightweight division title and he is pretty confident that he can beat Ferguson to advance to the next stage where, most likely, he will fight the winner of Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier. Though it is not clear if the title is going to be vacant as Dana White is trying hard to get Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0-0) back into the cage for one last time, Oliveira is confident he will not come back and he will get a title shot if he beats Ferguson.
Experts think that Tony Ferguson will be the favorite to win the fight. We agree with them since Tony Ferguson is a much more complete as a fighter than Charles Oliveira. Despite the lost against Justin Gaethje may have affected the confidence of Ferguson in the octagon, the grappling skills of El Cucuy are comparable of those of Oliveira while the striking force and stand-up fight skills of Ferguson are no match for Charles Oliveira. So, we are aware that Oliveira will try to choke Ferguson as main offensive strategy.
However, it seems hard to foresee how he can implement it and reach that stage considering that taking-down Ferguson is not easy and, overall, the American fighter knows how to defend himself from being choked or submitted pretty well. With the reach in favor of Ferguson, Charles Oliveira will really need a lighting speed attack to defuse El Cucuy and bring him down in a favorite position. Not mission impossible, but we think Ferguson will win.