Injury deprived Tony Ferguson of his opportunity to claim the full UFC lightweight belt, but the Orange County fighter will have an opportunity to likely clinch a title shot when he returns to the octagon Oct. 6.
The UFC announced Saturday night that Ferguson (25-3) will meet former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (21-7) in the co-main event of UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The main event is former two-division champion Conor McGregor’s return to meet new, unbeaten lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
In McGregor’s near two-year-long absence to box Floyd Mayweather Jr. and attend the birth of his first child, Ferguson extended his winning streak to 10 and claimed the interim lightweight belt by defeating Kevin Lee in October.
But days away from an anticipated showdown with Nurmagomedov in April, Ferguson tripped in a Fox parking lot in Los Angeles and tore knee ligaments, scrapping that fight.
Pettis was also supposed to be on the April card in Brooklyn before his opponent, Michael Chiesa, suffered head cuts sustained by the flying glass that came from McGregor’s hand truck attack of a bus carrying several fighters, including Nurmagomedov.
In the postponed meeting in July, Pettis answered a run of four losses in six fights by defeating an overweight Chiesa by second-round submission.