Combat Sports

Michael Chandler Says He Would ‘Love’ to Fight Tony Ferguson

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Michael Chandler appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss why he recently rejected a fight with Tony Ferguson.

Chandler (22-7) has been at home focusing on family and his gym in Nashville, TN ever since his war with Justin Gaethje at UFC 268, but recently made an appearance on The MMA Hour to discuss comments made by Tony Ferguson (25-6) and a potential fight between the two. 

A fight between two of the most explosive lightweights in MMA history is sure to make sports betting apps in Tennessee go crazy, but we may have to wait a little longer for the ‘Iron’ Mike and ‘El Cucuy’ showdown to develop. 

“I signed with the promotion, the UFC, in September,” Chandler explained. “Got offered the Oct. 24 card. Tony’s name was on that list. He declined.”

“Then I made weight Oct. 24 (for UFC 254) and then three weeks later he said he wanted to fight me in December, which I pulled myself out of training camp, wasn’t ready to go back into a training camp and then he went all over social media and said that I turned down a fight, wouldn’t fight him and I was afraid of him.”

“But once again, it was a short notice, Tony type of offer. It’s got a Tony-shaped bow on top of the offer.”

“I Would Love To Fight Tony”

After the three-round war with Justin Gaethje, Chandler says that a February fight just didn’t make sense to him: “It took me six weeks to recover from the last one to actually stop hobbling around and then I heard something last week that he wanted to fight me in February, which was about five weeks’ notice,” Chandler said.

“Whenever a guy says ‘hey, I want to fight this guy but I want more money’ or ‘I want to fight this guy but it’s got to be this date.’ ‘I want to fight this guy but it’s got to be at this weight.’

“When you add these little caveats and asterisks, are you really asking for the fight or are you only doing it on your terms in a scenario where you know a guy’s not ready to fight?”

“I’m not ready to fight in February. It’s five weeks away. Yeah, there [sic] was some rumblings. He was tweeting and then him and Gregor [Gillespie] were tweeting. Twitter’s a place where people talk. I would love to fight Tony but we’ve got to do it on a normal time frame.”

“Everybody knows what a normal time frame is, you need 8 to 10 weeks to train for a fight,” he added. “I take this sport very seriously. I take these fights very seriously. So no, I’m not going to fight a guy on five weeks’ notice just saying yes to a fight 8 or 10 weeks after a previous fight.”

Ferguson is looking to bounce back from a three-fight losing skid. His last appearance was at UFC 261 where he lost a one-sided affair to Beniel Dariush. In turn, Chandler is looking to rebound from his close loss to Justin Gaethje.


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