Tony Ferguson Calls For December Bout Versus Michael Chandler

Tony Ferguson UFC Fighter

  • Tony Ferguson calls out Michael Chandler for a December showdown.
  • Chandler signed with the UFC last September.
  • Ferguson is still hoping to fight the recently retired Khabib Nurmagomedov

Since he signed with the UFC a couple of months ago, Michael Chandler has been calling out the promotion’s big names but he hasn’t gotten a reply. Well he’s got one now.

Chandler was signed by the UFC last September and he was immediately named
as the back-up fighter just in case Khabib Nurmagomedov or Justin Gaethje didn’t make it to UFC 254. Both made it to fight night and after Khabib retired following his win over Gaethje, Chandler called for a lightweight tournament consisting of himself, Conor Mcgregor, Dustin Poirier, and Tony Ferguson to determine the next champ.

That suggestion fell on deaf ears. Then the UFC tried to book him against Ferguson but El Cucuy though it was insulting for the UFC to offer him a newcomer. Chandler recently called out Conor McGregor. Then he called out Ferguson again, and also Gaethje. Still nobody seemed to notice Chandler. Until Saturday:

UFC 256 took a hit when Amanda Nunes pulled out of her main event bout against Megan Anderson. Although the UFC bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling is booked for the same event, UFC 256 has lost a lot of star power with Nunes’ withdrawal But if Ferguson vs Chandler can be added to the main card of that event, that’s plenty of star power added right there. The UFC has not commented on Ferguson’s call out but given that they tried to book this fight last month, it’s a good sign.

Still Hoping To Fight Khabib

Ferguson’s ultimate goal is still to lock horns with Khabib Nurmagomedov. The UFC has booked that fight five times and it has been cancelled five times as well due to several reasons ranging from injuries, weight cutting issues, and the pandemic.

The last time out, Ferguson ended up facing Justin Gaethje at UFC 249. Gaehtje upset Ferguson killing the matchup instantly. But after Khabib retired, UFC president Dana White says that he believes Nurmagomedov will eventually return for one more fight. The UFC and the fans hope that he does, and he does so against Ferguson.

But while Khabib is out of the picture and Conor McGregor is set to fae Dustin Poirier in January, the best fight out there for Tony Ferguson is Michael Chandler. The former three-time Bellator lightweight champion is no easy opponent to face. He is 21-5 with 9 knockouts and seven wins via submission. But Ferguson picks no opponent.

Chandler Looking to Make a Splash

While Ferguson wants his shot at Khabib, Chandler wants to make a splash. He doesn’t care whether it’s Ferguson, Nurmagomedov, or McGregor, the former Bellator lightweight king wants a Top 5 guy to get himself on track for a title shot.

If White is correct about Khabib, then taking on Chandler could very well be the fastest way for Tony to get to Nurmagomedov. That’s why Ferguson is shooting his shot on Chandler now. Let’s hope the UFC is on board with this.

Ferguson continues to grow older and his window is almost coming to a close. That’s why he’s aching to fight, even if that opponent is Michael Chandler. Chandler isn’t getting any too so both men would love Dana White to book this fight as soon as possible. Let’s hope he gets in booked for UFC 256 on December 12th.

Bogeyman of the Division

Ferguson has opened as a -185 betting favorite to beat Chandler, who is currently listed at -135 in this possible lightweight showdown. El Cucuy has long been considered as the bogeyman of the UFC lightweight division and prior to his loss to Gaethje, Ferguson won 12 consecutive bouts.

The 36-year old though, looked rusty and even perhaps old when he lost to Gaethje last May. He is currently the 3rd ranked lightweight in the UFC and boasts of a record of 25-4 with 12 knockouts and 8 wins via submission. Ferguson has lost just twice in the UFC and that dated back to 2011.

This would be a do-or-die fight for Ferguson when it comes to winning the title. If he gets past Chandler then the Khabib chase continues. However, if Chandler pulls off the upset, it’s hard to see El Cucuy returning to the title picture given his age and all the talent in the lightweight division.

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