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Ferguson vs Gaethje – opponents in common

It’s back! UFC 249 has been rescheduled, and while it’s not the current reigning lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov taking on Tony Ferguson, fans are still anticipating a good battle between the former interim champion Ferguson, and Justin Gaethje. The interim title will be on the line in Florida on May 9th, as the two give MMA fans something to finally get excited about.

The current Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje odds are in the former’s favour, and with 15 wins from 16 UFC fights, El Cucuy is certainly a force to be reckoned with. However, it’s the new kid on the block, Gaethje who is looking to assert himself on the division – having won his last three bouts by way of first-round knockout. His record of four wins in six in the UFC may not be the best, but he’s won post-fight bonuses in all of his encounters in the Octagon, and is a former WSOF lightweight champion to boot.

Ahead of this exciting clash, let’s take a look at Ferguson and Gaethje’s opponents in common.

Edson Barboza

The former lightweight now competes in the featherweight division, and the Brazilian has spent a decade fighting in the UFC, having made his debut in 2010. Despite a record of 20-8, Barboza suffered defeats at the hands of both Ferguson and Gaethje. It was back in 2015 that he took on Ferguson, replacing Khabib at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale – although he received the Fight of the Night honour. After a fairly even first round, which saw Ferguson docked a point, it was in round two that Barboza lost by submission. He was awarded a post-fight bonus in his bout against Gaethje too – but again, lost in the Octagon. The headline event of UFC on ESPN 2 didn’t disappoint, with Gaethje delivering the knockout blow in the opening round – at just 2:30 on the clock.

Donald Cerrone

The Cowboy is a revered veteran of the UFC, boasting numerous records, including most bouts in UFC history (34), most wins (23) and most finishes (16). However, last year he suffered back-to-back losses, putting an end to a run of three fights without a loss – and has since been unable to regain his form, losing to Conor McGregor as recently as January. After beating Al Iaquinta in May 2019, Cerrone took on Ferguson just 32 days later. El Cucuy won via doctor stoppage in the second round, after Cerrone had blown his nose between rounds, but caused his right eye to shut, rendering him unable to continue. The two were awarded Fight of the Night. Cowboy then took on Gaethje at Fight Night and suffered another defeat. This time it was as early as the first round, with Gaethje delivering a trademark knockout to take home a Performance of the Night bonus.

Michael Johnson

Johnson was runner-up in The Ultimate Fighter in 2010, which is where he made his UFC debut. He wasn’t originally drafted in to meet Ferguson in the Octagon – for UFC on Fox 3 in May 2012 – but following injuries to both Dennis Hallman and Thiago Tavares, Johnson was named the replacement. The undercard fight went all the way, with Johnson winning by unanimous decision. Johnson and Gaethje met in The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption Finale, in 2017. The Highlight was on an unbeaten streak of 17-0 and he made it a further win to secure both post-fight bonuses: Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night. It was his UFC debut and what a way to announce yourself – second round TKO to secure victory.