Ahead of rumors of a potential Dustin Poirier vs Tony Ferguson fight, reports indicated that UFC is considering Michael Chandler as a possible new opponent for Tony Ferguson for UFC 254. After Dana White stated that the promotion is not trying to salvage Poirier vs Ferguson fight, and instead is looking at a new opponent, many big names got thrown into the mix. One of those names was former Bellator Champion Michael Chandler, who recently became a free agent after a spectacular stoppage victory over former Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 16, 2020
Earlier, ESPN journalist Ariel Helwani reported that the promotion is targeting a potential Michael Chandler vs Tony Ferguson for UFC 254. Chandler, in a recent tweet, subtly responded to the reports with the caption, “Fear no man.”
Fear no man…
— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) September 16, 2020
However, it looks like Tony Ferguson is more interested in fighting Dustin Poirier. After Dana White stated that Poirier is trying to dodge Tony Ferguson fight by mentioning contract dispute, Poirier sent a stern reply. “I want that fight.” Poirier stated. Ferguson reacted to the same, “This guy’s got the right idea” Poirier said with a gif in response.
Michael Chandler should not take the fight against Tony Ferguson
While taking nothing away from Chandler, there’s a reason to believe that Ferguson has an edge over Chandler if they meet inside the octagon. Ferguson is more versatile compared to Chandler, with great striking and a lethal submission game. Additionally, it would be wrong to put Chandler in a title eliminator in just his debut fight for the UFC. Even Justin Gaethje fought top contender Michael Johnson, before taking on title contenders like Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier.
Michael Chandler is an exciting fighter who could take the lightweight division by storm. However, the pressure of this fight could turn out to be too big for Chandler in his UFC debut. Additionally, there’s a lot to lose for both the fighters. Ferguson is coming off a brutal TKO loss to Justin Gaethje, and will look to make an emphatic return to the octagon. On the other hand, Michael Chandler will look to send a notice to the entire division in his debut fight for the UFC, and a loss in the very first fight could prove vert detrimental to his UFC career going forward.