Aaron Riley has never won back-to-back fights in the UFC. | Photo: Dave Mandel


Well-traveled lightweight Aaron Riley takes on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 13 winner Tony Ferguson on the UFC 135 “Jones vs. Rampage” undercard this Saturday in Denver in a classic matchup of up-and-coming prospect versus battle-tested veteran.

By the time Ferguson made his professional mixed martial arts debut in April 2008, Riley already had 36 fights under his belt, including bouts against Bellator Fighting Championships 155-pound titleholder Eddie Alvarez, Michihiro Omigawa, Spencer Fisher, Chris Lytle, Robbie Lawler and Yves Edwards. However, Riley has no intention of serving as a stepping stone for Ferguson.

“I’ve watched some tape [of Ferguson],” Riley told Sherdog.com. “He’s got grappling skills, but seems to prefer standing up and has some unorthodox striking skills. He is a tough guy, but I’ve studied the tape and we’ve got a game plan. I just have to attack his weaknesses and bring my strong suits to the table.”

Riley, who has 19 finishes -- five knockouts and 14 submissions -- among his 30 victories, said he will not be fazed if the fight stays on the feet or it goes to the ground.

“I feel pretty comfortable in all areas,” said Riley. “I have enough experience to know what to do in every situation. I feel like I can make it difficult for him in a lot of different ways.”

The Riley-Ferguson fight will be aired on Spike TV’s broadcast of the UFC 135 prelims, along with a middleweight bout pitting Tim Boetsch against Nick Ring. The card is headlined by a light heavyweight title scrap featuring defending champion Jon Jones and former titleholder Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

Riley has alternated wins and losses in his last four contests inside the Octagon, most recently capturing a unanimous decision victory over Joe Brammer at UFC 114 in May 2010. The Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts product said he understands a loss to Ferguson could mean his walking papers.

“I first competed in the UFC at UFC 37 [in May 2002],” said Riley. “I came back again in 2006, and both times were on single-fight deals. This time, I’ve been here since November 2008 and I want to stay here. Everybody knows the UFC is the name brand for mixed martial arts, and great things have happened because of them. There’s no place I’d rather be.”

As his lengthy career has progressed -- Riley’s professional debut came all the way back in July 1997 -- the process of preparing for a fight has changed greatly for the 30-year-old native of Tell City, Ind.

“My training has definitely evolved,” said Riley. “I’m smarter about things now. After a hard session, I know not to push myself too hard or else I’ll get hurt. My camps aren’t as intense, but I’m still training hard. I’m just training smarter and getting more out of it.”

Ferguson is coming off a first-round knockout of Ramsey Nijem at “The Ultimate Fighter 13” Finale in June and has won four straight fights. The knockout was chosen as the “Knockout of the Night” and gave “El Cucuy” an extra $40,000 in bonus money. However, if Riley has his way, Ferguson will not be getting any bonuses after their fight.

“Whenever you’ve been in a sport as long as I’ve been in MMA, there’s going to be some burnout,” said Riley, “but I’m really feeling motivated for this fight. I’ve had a good camp. There’s a lot of guys [at Jackson’s] getting ready for fights, and there are so many good fighters to train with. It’s been a long, tough road for me with some ups and downs, but I’m pretty excited about moving forward.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

12-time UFC vet Efrain Escudero headlines EuroFC 02 against French prospect Mansour Barnaoui

  • 15 days ago
  • 15 views

Efrain Escudero, “The Ultimate Fighter 8” winner and a 12-time UFC veteran, meets French prospect Mansour Barnaoui in the main event of EuroFC 02 in the Czech Republic.Filed under: News read news >>

Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw Named The Ultimate Fighter 25 Coaches | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago
  • 5 views

UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt and his nemesis, former teammate TJ Dillashaw have been named The Ultimate Fighter Season 25 coaches. read news >>

Twitter reacts to Joe Lauzon’s questionable decision over Marcin Held at UFC Fight Night 103

  • 4 days ago
  • 10 views

The latest chapter of Joe Lauzon’s lengthy UFC career saw the octagon veteran defeat Marcin Held in controversial fashion in Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 103 co-main event.Filed under: Featured, News, UF read news >>

UFC Fight Night 103 results: Joe Lauzon takes split from Marcin Held, admits he '100 percent' should've lost

  • 4 days ago
  • 8 views

PHOENIX – Takedowns were the name of the game for former Bellator submission standout Marcin Held against fellow grappling wiz Joe Lauzon. And somehow it didn’t pay off.Filed under: Featured, News, U read news >>

Joe Lauzon Decision's Marcin Held But Says Judges Got It Wrong (UFC Phoenix Results) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago
  • 5 views

When Bruce Buffer was reading the scorecards from the UFC Fight Night 103 co-main event, most inside the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix were shocked. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 103 results: Yair Rodriguez devastates Hall of Famer B.J. Penn for TKO win

  • 4 days ago
  • 14 views

PHOENIX – Yair Rodriguez made B.J. Penn’s comeback a short and painful one, battering the UFC Hall of Famer in a fight that wasn’t remotely competitive.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Twitter reacts to Yair Rodriguez's dominant TKO of UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn at UFC Fight Night 103

  • 4 days ago
  • 11 views

The star of Yair Rodriguez continued to rise on Sunday when the featherweight prospect defeated B.J. Penn in the UFC Fight Night 103 headliner at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix.Filed under: Fe read news >>

Yair Rodriguez Wrecks BJ Penn in Hall of Famer's Return (UFC Phoenix Results) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago
  • 10 views

Yair Rodriguez destroyed an MMA legend on Sunday night, impressively taking apart BJ Penn at UFC Fight Night 103 in Phoenix. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn Gate and Attendance from Phoenix | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago
  • 4 views

UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn gate and attendance from Talking Stick Resort in Phoenix. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 103 Results: Winners, Scorecards for Rodriguez vs. Penn Card

  • 4 days ago
  • 9 views

The 38-year-old B.J. Penn has plenty of UFC success on his resume, but he was no match for the 24-year-old Yair Rodriguez on Sunday at UFC Fight Night 103 in Phoenix's Talking Stick Resort Arena. Rod read news >>