Two former ‘The Ultimate Fighter' cast members have been tapped by the network that gave them their big break. UFC officials announced Tuesday that a pair of UFC 135 undercard contests -- Tony Ferguson (11-2) vs. Aaron Riley (30-12-1) and Nick Ring (12-0) vs. Tim Boetsch (13-4) -- have been promoted to the event's televised Spike prelims special, per MMAJunkie.com.
After claiming the ‘TUF 13' crown with a string of four blistering knockouts -- capped by a first-round demolishing of Ramsey Nijem that earned ‘Knockout of the Night' honors -- Ferguson appears primed to take the UFC lightweight division by storm. The 27-year-old known as "El Cucuy" has won four consecutive professional bouts -- all by knockout -- and seven of his last eight.
A veteran of the UFC from as far back as 2002, Riley has alternated victory and defeat in his current run under the promotion, racking up a 3-2 record over five contests. Always known as a busy man, the 30-year-old has already amassed 43 fights to his credit and was last seen claiming a unanimous decision over Joe Brammer at UFC 114.
An undefeated prospect out of Canada, Ring rose to prominence with his run in ‘TUF 11,' where he defeated eventual champion Court McGee early in the show's bracket before bowing out due to a severe knee injury. After an extended period of rehabilitation, the 32-year-old compiled a two-fight win streak inside the UFC, including a third-round submission over James Head at UFC 131.
Boetsch is a seven-time UFC veteran that, like Riley, has alternated victory and defeat throughout his two runs in the promotion. Affectionately nicknamed "Barbarian," the 30-year-old last fought at UFC 130, defeating Kendall Grove in his middleweight debut.
UFC 135 is scheduled for September 24th at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. Headlining the event is a light heavyweight championship bout between Jon "Bones" Jones and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
The updated UFC 135 fight card:
Light Heavyweight Championship: Jon Jones vs. Quinton Jackson
Welterweight: Matt Hughes vs. Diego Sanchez
Heavyweight: Travis Browne vs. Rob Broughton
Lightweight: Nate Diaz vs. Takanori Gomi
Heavyweight: Ben Rothwell vs. Mark Hunt