Nothing was easy for Tony Ferguson at UFC Fight Night 91 Wednesday night, but the former Ultimate Fighter winner still was able to add to his record-best win streak.

Ferguson survived a game effort by the debuting Landon Vannata, locking up a second round D’arce choke in the co-main event for his eighth consecutive victory.

“Much respect to Lando,” Ferguson said, as the fighter stepped in on short notice for Michael Chiesa. “The crowd got what they wanted and saw some fireworks.”

Earlier this year, Ferguson (21-3) was set to meet Khabib Nurmagomedov in a likely title-eliminator, but an injury sidelined him. He elected to remain on the South Dakota card to get his first fight of 2016 in under his belt.

“I missed that feeling of getting hit in the face,” Ferguson said. “It was awesome. I wanted a fight and to get hit a couple times.

“I was glad I had an opponent to perform in front of all you guys with.”

Vannata (8-1) did more than that, nearly finishing Ferguson with his striking in the first round. He rocked the heavy favorite, but was unable to put the final touches on the fight.