UFC Fan Favorite Expects to Hand Tony Ferguson His 4th Loss in a Row

Tony Ferguson

Getty Tony Ferguson

Lightweight contender Tony Ferguson is on a 0-3 skid and Michael Chandler is prepared to hand “El Cucuy” his fourth loss in a row next month at UFC 274.

The event goes down on May 7 at the Footprint Center in Pheonix, Arizona, and Chandler vs. Ferguson will serve as the night’s featured bout.

It’s a make-or-break clash for both fighters in terms of orbiting the top of the 155-pound division. “Iron” currently sits as the No. 5 lightweight, as per the official UFC rankings, and Ferguson is at No. 7. But, both fighters haven’t tasted victory in their most recent Octagon outings.

Chandler has dropped back-to-back bouts, getting beaten via second-round TKO by Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight championship in May 2021 and most recently, losing a unanimous decision to Justin Gaethje in November 2021.

On the other end, Ferguson’s 12-fight win streak was snapped by Gaethje in May 2020 by fifth-round TKO, and he was defeated in his next two contests via unanimous decision by Oliveira and Beneil Dariush, in December 2020 and May 2021, respectively.

Chandler Sees Ferguson as a ‘Perennial Top Guy’

Chandler appeared on a recent episode of ESPN’s “DC & RC” to talk about his fight with El Cucuy. The multiple-time Bellator lightweight champion called Ferguson a “perennial top guy” and he broke down why this contest makes sense to him at this juncture.

“I don’t [feel like it’s a step back],” Chandler said via Middle Easy. “Because we’re all governed by time and circumstance. If you look at the division, a lot of guys are tied up. You got [Dustin] Poirier talking about going up to 170 to fight [Nate] Diaz, Beneil Dariush and [Islam] Makhachev are scheduled to fight each other, Conor [McGregor] possibly coming back, obviously we got the title fight with [Justin] Gaethje and [Charles] Oliveira happening on May 7. So Tony Ferguson has always been a perennial top guy.”

Chandler Said Losses Will Happen When You’re Fighting Against Other Elite Combatants, Excited to Test Ferguson

Chandler pointed to the fact that it hasn’t been too long since Ferguson was viewed as one of, if not the most, terrifying match-ups at lightweight. During El Cucuy’s 12-fight win streak, he captured interim gold and beat former 155-pound champions Rafael dos Anjos and Anthony Pettis, among other notable names.

El Cucuy was booked to fight former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov five times, but the fight never came to fruition. But if it had, Ferguson would have had the opportunity to become the undisputed lightweight king.

“We’re only a couple years removed from that illustrious 12-fight win streak that he was on, when he looked unbeatable, possibly could’ve even beaten Khabib [Nurmagomedov],” Chandler continued. “There’s a lot of who were picking him to beat Khabib. Would that have happened? We don’t know because we never saw it. But, I see Tony Ferguson as a guy who is still extremely dangerous, still always performs well even when he runs into the toughest guys in the division.

“That’s what we’re doing,” he said. “And when you’re fighting the toughest guys in the division, you’re gonna take losses. You could beat anybody on a given night and you can lose to any of these guys on any given night. He’s lost a couple but I’m excited to go out there. I don’t necessarily think it’s a step back but it’s a winnable fight that’s for darn sure.”

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