UFC President Dana White made it official that Michael Chandler has signed with the company and will serve as back-up for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. After reports emerged that UFC is looking at Michael Chandler as a possible new opponent for Tony Ferguson, fight fans were left wondering about the possible Tony Ferguson vs Dustin Poirier fight. However, many fight fans showed great interest in a potential Chandler vs Ferguson fight. Now, it looks like Michael Chandler won’t be competing against Tony Ferguson, but rather, would serve as a back-up for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
Michael Chandler has officially signed with UFC, Dana White announced on @SportsCenter.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 17, 2020
With the scare of coronavirus looming on both ends, there’s a reason to believe that the UFC fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje could fall apart. Earlier, Gilbert Burns had to pull out of his fight against Kamaru Usman after he tested positive for coronavirus ahead of his Championship fight against Kamaru Usman at UFC 251.
UFC signs Michael Chandler – makes it official
So @danawhite just announced the @UFC has signed @MikeChandlerMMA to serve as a backup for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje at #UFC254 wow
great news @MmaSanford @henrihooft @CoachGJones @DrCPeacock
— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) September 17, 2020
UFC Welterweight title contender reacted to Michael Chandler’s signing and couldn’t believe at the company’s decision to keep Chandler as a replacement. After Tony Ferguson missed out on the title opportunity after Khabib Nurmagomedov was not eligible to compete due to travel restriction in light of the pandemic, Ferguson took on Justin Gaethje in a short-notice fight.
It makes more sense for the UFC to keep Tony Ferguson as a back-up. Be that as it may, UFC has not only signed Michael Chandler but in an unfortunate scenario where Khabib vs Gaethje cannot take place, we could see Michael Chandler fight for the UFC Lightweight Championship next.
— Patricio Pitbull (@PatricioPitbull) September 17, 2020
UFC 254 will feature Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje in a title unification bout for the UFC Lightweight Championship. Alongwith two of the best lightweight strikers, UFC 254 card will also feature the likes of former Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier in a possible #1 contender’s match for the UFC Middleweight Championship. Rafael dos Anjos will also make his lightweight return against Islam Makachev, with Yair Rodrigues set to take on Zabit Magomedsharipov in a possible #1 contender’s match for the UFC Featherweight Championship. The next few weeks are action packed, and only till will tell the future of the lightweight division.