Chandler is looking to get back into the lightweight title picture after his back-and-forth war with Justin Gaethje at UFC 268. Despite having his fair share of moments in the fight, he ended up losing via unanimous decision.
Before that, Chandler had lost his title shot against Charles Oliveira at UFC 262. Many believed he was rushed to the title too quickly after winning his UFC debut against Dan Hooker following a successful run in Bellator.
Ferguson was one of the more outspoken critics of Chandler’s quick path to the title shot, even coining the phrase “Dana White Privilege” to describe Chandler’s swift ascension up the ranks. He recently aimed at Chandler again during a recent Instagram post.
During a recent appearance on the DC&RC show, Chandler opined on what a win over Ferguson could do for his standing in the lightweight division.
“It’s always tough. I mean, regardless of organization, us fighters are never really in control of our destiny,” Chandler said. “We have promoters that we work for, and especially when you get to the level of the UFC; these guys are geniuses, they know how to put together fights and they wanna put together fights that make the most sense.
“With that being said, do I think I automatically make myself the number one contender by beating Tony Ferguson or winning my next fight? I don’t think so under normal circumstances. But these are not normal circumstances. I think everybody wants to see a rematch of myself and Charles Oliveira. They wanna see, they definitely wanna see a rematch, chapter two of the fight of the year against Justin Gaethje. So, I’ve kind of put myself in a unique position, where I could be one win away, and I get the nod to go out there and win the title by the end of 2022.”
Ferguson was one of the names who Chandler pointed to earlier this year when asked what he’s looking for in his next opponent. Chandler and Ferguson have had a bit of banter over the past few months, but it’s clear that Chandler has respect for the former interim champ.
UFC President Dana White first teased the matchup during a recent ESPN Q+A with Laura Sanko, stating that the UFC is working on making it happen. It’s unclear timing-wise if and when it’ll take place, but it’s certainly a major fight for both lightweights as well as the fans.
What are your thoughts on the targeted Michael Chandler vs. Tony Ferguson matchup?