The UFC 173 fight card just underwent a major change with Lyoto Machida stepping in against Chris Weidman in the main event after Vitor Belfort was removed from the card. The rest of the roster is also beginning to fill up.
UFC officials on Monday announced that The Ultimate Fighter 13 winner Tony Ferguson has been added to the card. He’ll face new arrival Katsunori Kikuno on May 24 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Ferguson (14-4) defeated Ramsey Nijem for the TUF 13 honors in 2011 then put back-to-back victories together over two former UFC title contenders in Aaron Riley and Yves Edwards.
Ferguson stumbled against Michael Johnson, but enters the fight with Kikuno coming off of a rebound victory over Mike Rio last October. A win against the Japanese knockout artist would go a long way towards propelling Ferguson into the lightweight title equation.
Kikuno (22-5-2) is a former DEEP lightweight champion. He road a five-fight winning streak into his UFC debut in January in Singapore, where he decisioned Strikeforce veteran Quinn Mulhern, sending him into retirement.
Now on a six-fight tear, Kikuno could make a bold statement with a victory over the Ferguson.
They will fight as part of the supporting cast as Weidman defends his UFC middleweight belt against Machida after Nevada’s recent decision to ban TRT exemptions derailed Belfort’s title shot.