Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight warriors Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson will square off this weekend (Sat., May 7, 2022) at UFC 274 inside Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
In three UFC fights, Chandler has quickly established himself as an elite contender and one of the most pound-for-pound entertaining men on the roster. However, he’s only picked up a single victory in that span, so the pressure is on for Chandler to bounce back if he’s to remain a relevant title threat rather than merely a fun Lightweight.
Meanwhile, the situation is far more dire for “El Cucuy.” Fans and analysts alike knew that someday, Ferguson’s chaotic and all-offense style would eventually result in the wheels coming off, and it really seems like that’s happened. After going undefeated for eight years, Ferguson has lost three in a row, seldom winning a round in the process.
The stakes are considerable for the Lightweight division. Victory puts Michael Chandler right back in the mix. Regardless of who wins the title on Saturday night, a rematch with Chandler is an easy enough sell. Likely, Islam Makhachev is ahead of him, but that still only leaves Chandler another victory away from a potential second chance at UFC gold.
Conversely, an upset loss here entirely removes him from the title picture, though there are still plenty of fun fights to make. As for Ferguson, his back is quite simply to the wall. If he loses a fourth straight fight at 38 years of age, will UFC continue to sign his paychecks? Probably not.
The way Ferguson’s UFC career has crumbled in the last two years has been decidedly sad, but this bout could be Ferguson’s path to redemption. Even if the title is no longer a feasible goal, stopping Chandler would help remind fight fans of Ferguson’s greatness.
It won’t be long until we find out what type of explosive combination unfolds when Chandler (22-7 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and Ferguson (25-6 MMA, 15-4 UFC) step into the octagon after both men made weight Friday morning then engaged in a final staredown later in the afternoon at UFC 274 ceremonial weigh-ins.
Former Bellator champ Chandler and former interim UFC titleholder Ferguson were all the way locked for the high-stakes lightweight matchup that will see both men attempt to snap losing skids and get back on track.
Check out the Chandler vs. Ferguson faceoff video from UFC 274 ceremonial weigh-ins above (via Twitter) UFC 274 takes place Saturday at Footprint Center. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.
MICHAEL CHANDLER WHAT A KO pic.twitter.com/iFjvGC1CRb
— Barstool Sportsbook (@BSSportsbook) May 8, 2022