Former Bellator champion and Newly signed UFC lightweight Michael Chandler wants to fight either Tony Ferguson or Justin Gaethje in his UFC debut.
Chandler was the backup for the UFC 254 main event between UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Gaethje, but he wasn’t needed as both men made weight and made it to the fight unscathed. A former three-time lightweight champion in Bellator, Chandler ended up getting introduced on the UFC 254 pay-per-view broadcast to UFC fans for the first time. But he went to Fight Island with the hopes of stepping into the cage.
Speaking to Matt Serra and Jim Norton on the latest UFC Unfiltered podcast, Chandler said that he wants to fight either Ferguson or Gaethje in his promotional debut.
“Tony Ferguson or Justin Gaethje would be No. 1 and No. 2 of the guys I want to fight. I think it’s a great introductory fight to the UFC fans of who Michael Chandler is. They’re both great fights, they’re both guys who fight. As you guys have seen who watched my fights, guys who run away, that’s the best way to try to beat me is to try to run away from my pressure. Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson are going to meet me in the middle of the Octagon and we’re going to have a blast. So either of those guys sounds like a great fight,” Chandler said.
Several elite lightweight contenders are chomping at the bit to get their crack at gold. The UFC’s 155-pound division has long since been a shark-tank where the talent runs deep.
One such perennial contender is Tony Ferguson, who was the interim lightweight champion. Calling out Tony Ferguson isn’t something many lightweight fighters do, however, Chandler is looking to make a big splash. The former multiple time Bellator champion will be keen to make himself known to casual fans across the globe. As it stands, his reach remains largely within the MMA community itself.
With Ferguson and Gaethje both likely eager to get back into the mix for the lightweight belt, a win over a highly-touted fighter like Chandler would be huge on their resume.
Gaethje, on the other hand, is eager to get back to the title contention after his loss at UFC 254 but Khabib is still the champion and any fight in the division will be for the no.1 contender spot. Many also believe that there should be a four-way tournament between Ferguson, Chandler, Mcgregor, and Poirier but it’s all up to UFC what they have planned.
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