Charles Oliveira (30-8) earned a decision victory over Tony Ferguson (26-5) in the co-main event at UFC 256 from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, likely earning a future lightweight title shot.
Oliveira was aggressive in the first round, opening up shots at Ferguson before picking him up and slamming him to the ground. Oliveria dominated the former interim champ, hyperextending his arm, but somehow not earning the tap before the round ended.
In the second, Ferguson clearly favored his left arm and found his way to the ground yet again. This time, Ferguson was much more composed, keeping Oliveira in check and simply biding his time to get to the third round and final round. The third was much of the same for Oliveira, who picked up Ferguson, slammed him and worked with ease on the ground en route to a decision victory.
Oliveira won last seven bouts dating back to 2018, with his last victory coming in a submission win over Kevin Lee in March. With Khabib Nurmagomedov apparently stepping away from the sport after his last victory, the lightweight division is wide open, with Conor McGregor fighting Dustin Poirier in January, former Bellator champion Michael Chandler signing with the promotion and Justin Gaethje certainly looking for another shot at gold.
Ferguson returned to the Octagon after suffering the first TKO loss of his career in May against Justin Gaethje. Previously, he rode a 12-fight win streak, with his last loss coming in 2012. A former interim lightweight champion, Ferguson was forced to relinquish the belt after suffering a torn LCL in a freak injury on a television set in 2018.