Seventh-ranked UFC lightweight Michael Chiesa has spent the last few weeks calling for a fight with former champion Eddie Alvarez. Unfortunately, Alvarez “dodged” a fight with Chiesa, and instead signed on for a fight with fellow lightweight talent Dustin Poirier.
With this desired Alvarez fight off the table, Chiesa now has his sights set on an even bigger fight. The Ultimate Fighter 8 winner is hoping for a bout with Tony Ferguson.
A bit of context for this callout:
Michael Chiesa and Tony Ferguson were briefly scheduled to fight back in 2016. Unfortunately, Chiesa was forced out of this planned showdown with an injury. From there, Ferguson defeated Lando Vannata and Rafael Dos Anjos, before being scheduled for an interim lightweight title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov – which was created in an effort to keep the division moving while undisputed champ Conor McGregor takes a break from competition.
Unfortunately, Nurmagomedov was forced out of this bout with Ferguson on the eve of battle, which left Ferguson without an opponent. Given that Nurmagomedov isn’t likely to return to some time – which means this bout isn’t likely to be rescheduled right away – Chiesa believes the time has come for another try at a bout with Ferguson.
The lightweight contender broke it all down on Wednesday’s edition of BJ Penn Radio.
“You know, I want to fight guys that are ranked around where I’m at or ahead of me,” he said. “So I’ve got my sights set back on Tony. I’m not looking for an easy fight. We all know, Tony Ferguson is about as tough of an out as you’re going to get at 155 pounds. The guys no joke, he’s on a nine-fight win-streak. But you know what? That’s the last guy I was supposed to get scheduled against. To my understanding, Khabib Nurmagomedov is out indefinitely until he decides to come back. I don’t know if Tony wants to sit around and wait for a title shot, or if he wants to finish unfinished business. Nothing but respect for the guy, he’s a hell of a competitor, but I’d love the chance to compete against him.”
“I’m looking way far ahead,” Chiesa continued. “I’m looking for the title. I’m looking for the fights that are gonna get me there. Those are the fights I’m going to ask for first, and in my opinion, a fight with Ferguson, it doesn’t seem that unrealistic to me. We were scheduled to fight each other before. If you look at the landscape of the division, it really doesn’t seem too far off for the fight to make sense.”
“If [McGregor] moves on to fight Floyd [Mayweather], and Khabib is out indefinitely, why not me and Ferguson for the interim title? I was almost the man for the job when Ferguson didn’t come to terms for the Khabib fight. I was the guy that was going to fight Khabib! I’m on the brink of breaking into these fights.”
What do you think of this callout of Tony Ferguson from Michael Chiesa? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/9/2017.