As the winner of the previous season of The Ultimate Fighter, Anthony Ferguson has some experience on Ultimate Fighter finales. After last night's bout with Yves Edwards in Las Vegas, Ferguson will have some bad memories, cuts and bruises to associate with the TUF Finale experience.
In his previous two UFC fights, both wins, Ferguson was able to bring his formidable KO power to bear to finish his opponents in the first round. The wily veteran southpaw Edwards gave Ferguson three rounds of all-he-could-handle and made it hurt.
But Ferguson pulled it out, thanks to his powerful fists which ensured that even though Edwards connected more often, Ferguson is the one who did the most damage. Ferguson's lead uppercut proved to be check and mate for Edwards' left head kick with the judges. Despite repeatedly ringing Ferguson's bell with the smooth high kicks, it was Edwards, not Ferguson who was repeatedly staggered in the fight.
Ferguson's wrestling helped too as he clinched the second round with a late take down. You have to wonder if Ferguson and his coaches will discuss an alternate fight strategy the next time Ferguson runs into a smooth striker. If he had used his wrestling more, he would likely have fought from top position for the majority of the fight.
Ferguson also got the best of the fight's sole grappling exchange when he rolled into a shoulder lock that had Joe Rogan oohing, aaahing and praising Ferguson's Jiu-Jitsu. This is the kind of fight that can help transform a relatively raw talent like the 27-year-old Ferguson into a legitimate contender. That's IF Ferguson can process the lessons the savvy veteran Edwards imparted.