Dana White explains why Michael Chandler got the call for UFC 254 instead of Tony Ferguson

Tony Ferguson Khabib Nurmagomedov Dana White

Dana White announced some huge news for UFC 254 earlier today, but it did not involve former interim lightweight title holder Tony Ferguson.

Instead the brash UFC boss confirmed that the promotion had come to terms with coveted free agent Michael Chandler, who will now serve as the back-up for October’s Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje lightweight title fight.

While the news of Chandler’s signing was undoubtedly exciting, many fight fans were still left wondering what had happened to Tony Ferguson.

Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler

‘El Cucuy’ was originally slated to compete at UFC 254 against fellow former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier. However, after negotiations between ‘The Diamond’ and UFC officials went south, many assumed that Ferguson would either receive a new opponent or be given back-up status for Khabib vs. Gaethje.

Regrettably Tony Ferguson will no longer be a part of October’s UFC 254 pay-per-view event. UFC President Dana White revealed that ‘El Cucuy’ and his team went quiet on the promotion after the Dustin Poirier fight fell through.

“They went quiet on us,” White told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter. “We couldn’t get a fight done.”

The UFC President has been adamant that if athletes are not interested in fight offers the promotion will simply move on to something new.

“When I call you and you want to fight (then) fight,” Dana White said. “If you don’t, no problem. I’m not pushing anybody to fight. … You don’t want to fight? We move on, and we make other fights.”

What do you think of the comments made by UFC President Dana White regarding why newly acquired lightweight Michael Chandler received the back-up spot for UFC 254’s Khabib vs. Gaethje fight instead of Tony Ferguson? Share your thoughts in the comments section PENN Nation!

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on September 18, 2020