Michael Chandler Believes Tony Ferguson Will Be First UFC Opponent

Michael Chandler is the official backup for the UFC 254 main event, but his UFC debut fight, which isn’t set in stone, could be against Tony Ferguson.

The former Bellator lightweight champion believes that due to the circumstances surrounding Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, his first UFC bout will come against Ferguson.

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“There’s been momentum brewing on Poirier’s side,” Chandler said at the UFC 254 virtual media day (via Dave Doyle of MMA Junkie). “Since he lost to Conor, he’s looked nothing but spectacular. Conor McGregor is the biggest draw in the history of combat sports. If that’s who Conor wants to fight, that’s who he’s going to fight. If I’m the guy he wants to fight, then he’s going to fight me. If those two guys are matched up, that takes out two guys in the top five. Obviously with Khabib and Gaethje lined up, Conor and Poirier, that really only leaves Tony Ferguson. So I’d love the opportunity to fight Tony Ferguson.”

Ferguson doesn’t have a fight lined up at the moment, while McGregor and Poirier were reportedly offered an opportunity to battle each other sometime next year. Chandler, whether its Ferguson or not, would like to fight anybody ranked in the top five of the UFC lightweight division.

“I’d love the opportunity to fight anybody in the top five,” Chandler said. “We’ll see what happens but either way if I take my competitor hat off and put my fan hat on, Conor vs. Poirier is a great fight, even though I’d love to fight either of those guys.”

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