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Tony Ferguson vs. Anthony Pettis in the works for UFC 229

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Esther Lin, MMA FIghting

On a night in which the UFC lightweight championship will be decided in what could be the biggest event in UFC history, two other competitors who have held versions of 155-pound gold look highly likely to throw down.

A matchup between former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson and former UFC and WEC lightweight titleholder Anthony Pettis is in the works for UFC 229 in Las Vegas on Oct. 6. MMA Fighting confirmed an initial Thursday night report by MMA Junkie.

Ferguson (23-3) carries a 10-fight win streak into the bout. In his last bout, at UFC 216, he defeated Kevin Lee to claim the interim title.

The Ultimate Fighter 13 winner from Southern California was scheduled to meet Khabib Nurmagomedov for the full title at UFC 223 in April. But Ferguson suffered a freak knee injury on the FOX lot in Los Angeles a week before the bout, which set off a chain reaction of events that led to Nurmagomedov defeating Al Iaquinta to claim the championship.

Pettis (21-7), meanwhile, went on a tremendous run from 2010-14 in which he claimed both WEC and UFC gold, using his all-time classic “Showtime kick” to seal the decision in his WEC title win over Benson Henderson at WEC 53 and finishing Henderson at UFC 164 to claim the UFC crown.

Pettis went through a rough stretch starting with his title loss to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185, but he’s won two of his last three bouts. In his most recent fight, Pettis showed flashes of his best self in a second-round submission of Michael Chiesa at UFC 226, for which he earned a Performance of the Night bonus.

UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena will be headlined by Nurmagomedov’s title defense against former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor. The presence of former title claimants Ferguson and Pettis also gives the UFC a potential top-flight backup plan should either main event competitor have to withdraw from the bout.