At this weekend’s pay-per-view, set to go down from the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, Chandler will make his fourth UFC walk. Despite holding a negative 1-2 record on MMA’s biggest stage, not many fighters have faced the level of competition and thrilled audiences like he has in just three appearances.
Having narrowly fallen short of title glory against Charles Oliveira last May and suffered defeat in a Fight of the Year war with Justin Gaethje six months later, the former Bellator champion is looking to keep in touch with the elite contenders at 155 pounds in his fourth straight PPV outing.
To do so, he’ll have to have his hand raised this Saturday at the expense of fan favorite Ferguson. Pre-fight, Chandler has given an honest assessment of what it’s like preparing to face “El Cucuy.”
To put it simply, it’s a “scary” prospect.
Chandler: Nobody Can Emulate Ferguson
During UFC 274 media day on Wednesday, Chandler was asked whether any name on his impressive and lengthy MMA résumé boasts similar attributes or styles as the current #7-ranked lightweight contender.
Given Ferguson’s unique offense, it’s perhaps no surprise that the answer was “no.”
Pointing to Ferguson’s unrelenting conditioning and durability, Chandler branded a date with “El Cucuy” as one to fear. Nevertheless, the 36-year-old is certainly not one to back down from a fight.
“No, I really don’t (have anyone on my record like Ferguson),” admitted Chandler. “Obviously, everybody’s got two arms and two legs, and we’re talking about boxing, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, and grappling, and so, of course, there’s similarities here and there. But I think, when you add in the wrinkle that Tony Ferguson doesn’t get tired, he doesn’t get finished, he keeps on coming — that’s a scary fight.
“He’s got elbows that’ll cut you up, he throws them from everywhere. He keeps fighting off of his back when he does get taken down. I can’t think of anyone that can emulate Tony Ferguson, because nobody can,” added Chandler. “He’s a puzzle to solve, and we’re gonna try and solve it Saturday night.”
One entertaining veteran of the sport will be leaving the arena with one more setback on their losing skid and a sizable distance away from contention. But whatever the result, fans will certainly be expecting an entertaining affair when “Iron” and “El Cucuy” throw down Saturday night.
Who do you think will return to lightweight contention at UFC 274, Michael Chandler or Tony Ferguson?