Katsunori Kikuno vs. Tony Ferguson on tap for UFC 173 in Las Vegas

Lightweights meet in an intriguing contest at 155-lbs, as former DEEP Lightweight Champion Katsunori Kikuno is paired off with season thirteen winner of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Tony Ferguson.

The match-up is scheduled to take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 24th

UFC officials today confirmed the bout via Twitter.

Katsunori Kikuno (21-5-3) a veteran of the sport for almost a decade, began his journey in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) back in 2005, where he fought Junpei Chikano to a Draw under the respected ZST banner.

Since then, Kikuno has went on to establish himself across the pond in Asia fighting for Japanese giants DEEP & DREAM, before eventually making his long awaited debut in Singapore at UFC Fight Night 34.

At 32-years of age, Kikuno has fought a who’s who of Mixed Martial Arts with names like Eddie Alvarez, Satoru Kitaoka, Daisuke Nakamura, Gesias Cavalcante, Mizuto Hirota and Kuniyoshi Hironaka under his belt. Katsunori went on to make his promotional debut with the UFC earlier this year, winning a one-sided Unanimous Decision over Jackson’s MMA product Quinn Mulhern.

Currently on a 6-fight win streak, Kikuno now competes for his first time outside of Asia, where he aims to extend his winning record.

Tony Ferguson (16-3) was crowned “The Ultimate Fighter 13” winner back in 2011. And since then, Ferguson’s gone on to have a successful career under the bright lights of the UFC, having put together a 4-1 record inside the Octagon thus far.

The hard-nosed American’s most recent outing saw Ferguson bounce back, following his lone loss under the UFC banner. And that came at the hands of Michael Johnson in May 2012, ending the 30-year-old’s impressive 6-fight win streak.

“El Cucuy” stepped back into the cage 18 months on, where he took on fellow TUF contestant Mike Rio. Ferguson rebounded in quick succession, earning Submission of the Night honors after submitting (Brabo Choke) his foe in the very first round at UFC 166 in Houston, Texas.

Like his opponent, Ferguson also looks to build off his most recent outing. And get back into the title hunt at 155-lbs.

*UFC 173 will play host to a Middleweight contest, as Chris Weidman (11-0) looks to defend his 185-lb crown against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida (21-4) who’s looked incredible since dropping down in weight.

Ultimate Fighting Championship, 5/24/14
“UFC 173”
MGM Grand Garden Arena
Las Vegas, Nevada

Middleweight title
Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida

Lightweight Bout
James Krause vs. Jamie Varner

Bantamweight Bout
T.J. Dillashaw vs. Takeya Mizugaki

Lightweight Bout
Michael Chiesa vs. Francisco Trinaldo

Bantamweight Bout
Chris Holdsworth vs. Kyung Ho Kang

Featherweight Bout
Sam Sicilia vs. Doo Ho Choi

Lightweight Bout
Tony Ferguson vs. Katsunori Kikuno

Photo credit: Mitch Viquez/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
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