UFC President Dana White is floating the idea of a lightweight No. 1 contender fight between Tony Ferguson and Michael Chandler.
Ferguson stood out as the top contender in the lightweight division for many years, but after having a 12-fight win-streak derailed by Justin Gaethje in May, is now looking to reestablish himself. Chandler, on the other hand, is a former Bellator champion, and recently signed with the UFC to much acclaim.
With both men looking for big fights, White revealed on the Real Quick with Mike Swick podcast that he’s considering pitting them against each other and granting the winner a title shot.
On the Real Quick with @officialswick podcast, Dana White floated the idea of a Tony Ferguson vs Michael Chandler fight to determine the top lightweight contender since neither has fought Khabib.
Also mentioned that Islam Makhachev will headline an upcoming card in Vegas.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) October 23, 2020
Chandler, for his part, seems to be all for a matchup with Ferguson.
“Conventional wisdom would say the top 4 guys are booked right now, that leaves Tony Ferguson,” Chandler told the media in Abu Dhabi, the site of the upcoming UFC 254 card, this week. “I think that’s the logical, best choice. Either I am who I say I am or I’m not, so we’ll find out pretty quick. Against, I think, the scariest guy in the division: ‘El Cucuy.’ He’s got a screw loose. He fights like it. He’s a scary guy to fight. So what better way to introduce the UFC fans to who I am than to go out there against Tony Ferguson. A perennial top guy. A guy who just lost his first fight a couple of months ago when he was on a 12-fight winning streak.”
While Chandler is clearly interested in this matchup, however, Ferguson has offered a little more resistance.
“Michael Chandler hasn’t earned his way to the top,” Ferguson told ESPN. “But if that’s who Dana White wants me to fight, you know me: I put my boots on, and I go to work.
“Do I want to fight? Yes. I want to fight in December. I’m f—ing training. Let’s go. But I don’t think somebody who doesn’t even belong here should be paid more than me. That’s what I’m saying.”
Does a No. 1 contender fight between Tony Ferguson and Michael Chandler interest you?