UFC lightweight Michael Chandler believes that Tony Ferguson badly needs time off.
‘El Cucuy’ was last in action at UFC 279 earlier this month. Ferguson was originally set to face Li Jingliang in a short-notice bout up at welterweight. However, after Khamzat Chimaev missed weight for the headliner, the former champion was bumped up.
In the main event of UFC 279, Nate Diaz submitted the former interim titleholder. The bout was the fifth straight loss for Ferguson and his second straight stoppage defeat. The 38-year-old was previously knocked out by Michael Chandler in May.
Following the event, many called for Tony Ferguson to retire. Names such as Daniel Cormier stated that the former interim champion looked like a shell of himself. For his part, Ferguson later hit back at ‘DC’ and said he will retire on his own terms.
It seems that Michael Chandler would agree with not calling for his former foe’s retirement. The former Bellator lightweight champion discussed Ferguson’s loss to Nate Diaz on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. There, he stated that pundits shouldn’t tell the 38-year-old what to do in regard to his career.
Furthermore, the Missouri native stated that the most important thing for Tony Ferguson to do now is taking some time off. Chandler was also amazed that his UFC 274 opponent returned to the cage quicker than he did, given the brutal knockout.
“I never want to tell a man what to do with his career,” Chandler said. “I love Tony as a fan of what Tony has done. He’s been an absolute ridiculous joy to watch over the last however many years he’s been in the UFC. Obviously getting to compete against him was awesome. I wanted that opportunity, and it came and worked out well for me.” (h/t MMA News)
He continued, “As you said, he didn’t get beat up, and honestly, I would say he was winning the fight in a lot of ways. I think that fight goes two more rounds and if he keeps chewing up Nate’s front leg, that fight goes to the scorecards and it wasn’t as dominant of a victory as a lot of people would claim the way that it actually ended, with Nate actually submitting him.”
He concluded, “Never want to tell a guy what to do, but I do wish him the best.”
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