Recent UFC free-agent signing Michael Chandler is requesting a matchup against either Tony Ferguson or Justin Gaethje for his Octagon debut.
Chandler was the backup for the UFC 254 main event between UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Gaethje, but he wasn’t needed as both men made weight and made it to the fight unscathed. A former three-time lightweight champion in Bellator, Chandler ended up getting introduced on the UFC 254 pay-per-view broadcast to UFC fans for the first time. But he went to Fight Island with the hopes of stepping into the cage.
Considering he just went through a training camp and didn’t get his release at the end of it, Chandler is understandably eager to get back into the Octagon. And he wants a big name for his debut. Speaking to Matt Serra and Jim Norton on the latest UFC Unfiltered podcast, Chandler said that he wants to fight either Ferguson or Gaethje in his promotional debut.
“Tony Ferguson or Justin Gaethje would be No. 1 and No. 2 of the guys I want to fight. I think it’s a great introductory fight to the UFC fans of who Michael Chandler is. They’re both great fights, they’re both guys who fight. As you guys have seen who watched my fights, guys who run away, that’s the best way to try to beat me is to try to run away from my pressure. Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson are going to meet me in the middle of the Octagon and we’re going to have a blast. So either of those guys sounds like a great fight,” Chandler said.
With Ferguson and Gaethje both likely eager to get back into the mix for the lightweight belt, a win over a highly-touted fighter like Chandler would be huge on their resume. Although both Ferguson and Gaethje would be risking their ranking against an unranked opponent in Chandler, maybe they will say yes if the winner if guaranteed a title shot.
Would you rather see Michael Chandler fight Tony Ferguson or Justin Gaethje?