Monday, June 27, 2011 | 10 p.m.
The most recent winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” will soon make his first appearance since winning the 13th season of the reality show — albeit in a different weight class.
UFC officials announced Thursday that Tony Ferguson (11-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will face Aaron Riley (30-12-1 MMA, 3-4 UFC) in a lightweight bout at UFC 135 on Sept. 24 in Denver.
Ferguson beat out 13 other welterweights to win his “TUF” title, but said he would consider fighting at 155 pounds after knocking out Ramsey Nijem at the finale earlier this month.
“It depends on where everyone wants me to fight,” Ferguson said.
The UFC apparently preferred for Ferguson to go down to lightweight, which may be his more natural weight class.
In Riley, Ferguson faces a 14-year MMA veteran. But Riley hasn’t fought since a UFC 114 unanimous decision victory over Joe Brammer, as he’s been out with injury.
Riley vs. Ferguson is the seventh bout announced for UFC 135, which will be headlined by a light heavyweight championship match between Jon Jones and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.