UFC 274 Preview: Tony Ferguson – Michael Chandler

Tony Ferguson, UFC
Tony Ferguson, UFC

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 274, we will see a matchup that fight fans have wanted to see for a very long time. Former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson (25-6) returns as he takes on former title challenger Michael Chandler (22-7).

For years, Tony Ferguson was the boogey man of the lightweight division. He captured the interim title, but never got his chance at undisputed gold. Whether it be injuries, covid, or poor weight cuts by his opponent, Ferguson always lost out on his chance to become undisputed champ.

In 2020, he fought Justin Gaethje for the interim title. Starting with that fight, the former UFC interim champion has lost three fights in a row. Now, his back is against the wall and he takes on another tough challenge.

Michael Chandler stormed on the scene in the UFC with a knockout of Dan Hooker. Afterwards, he got a lightweight title fight against Charles Oliveira. After dominating Oliveira in the first round, Chandler was stopped early in the second.

He returned in November to face Justin Gaethje at UFC 268. After a strong opening round, Chandler was outstruck in the final two rounds and lost a decision. While he still has high stature in the division, the reality is he’s lost two in a row and needs a win.

UFC 274 Prediction

If this fight was a few years ago, I would really like Tony Ferguson actually. Ferguson’s unorthodox striking combined with his cardio and pace would be a few things I could see Chandler struggling with. Imagine a lead elbow catching Chandler on a blitz.

However, this isn’t the same Tony Ferguson that was the UFC interim lightweight champion. We are looking at a guy who has been dominated in three straight fights. He just doesn’t look the same.

Now, maybe tomorrow night we will get the old El Cucuy. However, I’m going with Chandler on this one. The power in the shots and the power wrestling are really going to play and I think he actually will get the stoppage.

Prediction: Michael Chandler by TKO – Round 2