Michael Chandler Vehemently Defends Tony Ferguson Claim: ‘Poirier Talking About Going to 170 & Fighting Nate Diaz’

Published 04/27/2022, 4:20 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 23: Michael Chandler battles Dan Hooker during the UFC 257 event at UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Mixed Martial Arts has always been known for its big fights and, with UFC 274 around the corner, all MMA fans are very excited about the fight between Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson. As both fighters are coming off a streak of losses, there couldn’t be a better time than now to book this bout. The once interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson has had an alarming dip in his form. Despite that, Chandler believes ‘El Cucuy’ is still a very dangerous fighter.

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Michael Chandler sat down with Daniel Cormier and Ryan Clark on the ‘DC & RC’ show to talk about his upcoming fight against Tony Ferguson. During the show, when asked whether he thought facing ‘El Cucuy’ was a step back in his career, Chandler was quick to deny it.

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‘Iron’ Chandler said, “You look at the division. A lot of guys are tied up. You got Poirier talking about going up to 170 and fighting Diaz…So Tony Ferguson has always been a perennial top guy…”

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“I see Tony Ferguson as a guy who is still extremely dangerous, still always performs well even when he runs into the toughest guys in the division…He’s lost a couple, so have I, so I am excited to go out there. I don’t think it’s necessarily a step back, but it’s a winnable fight.”

It is great to see that Michael Chandler is not underestimating or considering Tony Ferguson to be a step back, as taking ‘El Cucuy’ lightly may prove dangerous.

Tony Ferguson will look to re-discover his winning ways against Michael Chandler at UFC 274

After losing to Michael Johnson in 2012, Ferguson won 12 straight fights over the next seven years. He beat Donald Cerrone in 2019 and was in pole position to face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the title. Unfortunately, that fight got canceled for the fifth time, and ‘El Cucuy’ opted to face Justin Gaethje for an interim title at UFC 249.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: Tony Ferguson poses for photos during the UFC 249 press conference at T-Mobile Arena on March 06, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

In retrospect, Ferguson opting to go for a double weight cut (he hit the championship limit for the canceled UFC 249 in April) drained him for the bout on May 9. This saw ‘The Highlight‘ dominate and stop him.

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Seven months later, Ferguson shared the octagon with Charles Oliveira. ‘Do Bronx‘ dominated Ferguson in this three-round fight at UFC 256, but ‘El Cucuy’ earned plaudits as he survived a vicious armbar in round 1.

In his next outing at UFC 262, the former UFC interim lightweight champion failed against a disciplined Beneil Dariush and lost his ninth consecutive MMA round.

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Given his triple setback, Ferguson, who knows his time to return to the top is limited, will look to rediscover his winning ways when he shares the cage with Michael Chandler.

As ‘Iron’ is not underestimating ‘El Cucuy’, the latter’s work will be cut out as he strives to arrest his slide. Which fighter will return to winning ways at UFC 274?

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Varun Bhat

197 articles

Varun Anand Bhat is an MMA writer at EssentiallySports. Not only does he train in MMA but he is also a certified judge, which gives him valuable insight while writing content. The fight between Conor Mcgregor & Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 was responsible for making him interested in the sport of MMA.

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