Michael Chandler is still willing to accept a bout against Tony Ferguson at UFC 254, and wants to straightaway get in the title picture.
With less than two weeks left for the commencement of mega event of the month, Michael Chandler, who is set to stay as a reserve fighter for the Khabib Vs. Gaethje fight at UFC 254, still wants to grab a spot in the main card, and wants Tony Ferguson as his opponent. A former Bellator Lightweight champion, Chandler is the recent marquee signing of UFC, and with the kind of stature he holds in the circuit, the 34-year-old is expected to face the top ranked individuals from the outset. While in lines with this, he was on board to salvage the co-main event of 254 after the contest between Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson fell through, but claims both Poirier and Ferguson declined to fight against him.
Michael Chandler is Still Willing To Accept a Bout Against Tony Ferguson
Though there still exists a slight possibility for him to not just become a part but to headline the event, however, he is still hell bent on making an impactful debut at the biggest card of the year, and states the preparations are still going in full flow, despite a meagre chance of featuring at the event.
In a recent interview with MMA Junkie Radio, he talked about a number of subjects viz. him signing the UFC contract, his ambitions with the promotion, the upcoming event, etc. and also conveyed he is still open to fight Tony Ferguson.
“I’m already going Oct. 24th, I’m already making weight, so yes, I would definitely fight him. He’s kind of the only guy that I’m interested in fighting right now. It’s already been talked about, so you don’t add any names to that hat whenever a guy in the top five is already talked about.
Michael Chandler Said Yes To Every Condition
“When I was getting the deal done with the UFC, they essentially said, ‘We know that you just fought in August, but would you be willing to fight in October?’ and I said ‘absolutely. They asked if I’d be willing to fight Dustin Poirier or Tony Ferguson in October and said those guys are scheduled to fight but they’re having money issues and they’re kind of having different issues and whatnot and I said ‘absolutely.’ They (UFC) said, ‘We kind of know the answer to this, but if one of those guys aren’t willing to fight, will you be the backup for the Oct. 24 card? I said ‘absolutely.’
“So my answer to all six of their questions was yes, yes, yes. When you come into an organization, you have to show your worth. I think that was a way to not throw my weight around. I wasn’t going to say, No, I’m not going to be the backup, I’m not going to be your insurance policy.”
Chandler reflected upon being put on hold, and laid out his thoughts on why he accepted to become a substitute, when he is globally acclaimed as a main event fighter.
“You have a lot of fans and people kind of coming at me saying, ‘This guy is entitled and this, this and that.’ When really, I swallowed my pride a little bit and said I’d be willing to be the alternate for the Gaethje-Khabib card for the slight chance that I might get to fight for the world title rather than saying a top-five guy or bust. Instead, I said I’d be willing to be the insurance policy for that fight.”
Onus was on Tony Ferguson
The “Iron” man continued and revealed that both Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson rejected the offer to share ring space alongside him. And also stated that while Dustin may soon get an opponent in the form of Conor McGregor for a later event, the onus was on Tony Ferguson to accept the fight against me, and we could have featured in the pre-concluder of the most illustrious MMA fight night of the year.
“Tony Ferguson was on the table, he said no; Dustin Poirier was on the table, he said no. Since, Dustin Poirier has said yes to Conor (McGregor) and I think Conor has said yes to Dustin. So that leaves Tony Ferguson. That’s why I said in his way with all caps on Twitter. I said you already turned down a fight against me on the biggest card of the year. This card was going to have a lot of eyeballs and we could’ve been the co-main event and got this tournament going as he likes to talk. I could’ve stepped on his mat and see how things shake out. I think I go out there and beat Tony Ferguson and I immediately put myself on the title picture.”
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