After huge knockout win at UFC 274, what’s next for Michael Chandler?

MMA, UFC, michael chandler

This past Saturday on the main card of UFC 274, we saw a matchup between two top lightweight contenders who really needed a win. Former interim UFC champion Tony Ferguson (25-7) was trying to avoid a fourth straight loss as he took on former title challenger Michael Chandler (23-7).

This fight promised action and it didn’t disappoint. In the opening part of the first round, it was El Cucuy that took charge. Ferguson was able to briefly drop Chandler with a quick check hook and he spent the majority of the first round stalking Chandler.

Chandler was swinging wild with power punches after getting hurt, but nothing was really landing on Ferguson. Then, Chandler decided to switch to his wrestling used a power double-leg to take down the former UFC interim champion.

However, Ferguson was comfortable on his back and started slicing Chandler up with elbows. Chandler landed some good shots, but Ferguson likely took the first round. Ferguson was smiling in between rounds, but that smile would quickly fade.

Just seconds into the second round, Chandler pushed forward and caught Ferguson flush with front kick to the face. In one of the more devastating knockouts you’ll ever see, Ferguson crumbled to the ground and Chandler picked up his second win in the UFC.

What’s next after UFC 274?

After the knockout win, Chandler showed off his promo skills once again at UFC 274. He took the stage to call out the guys in the main event and he also called out “The Notorious” Conor McGregor for a fight at 170 pounds.

That potential fight is one that Dana White said he liked at the UFC 274 post-fight press conference. However, there’s another fight that’s materialized in the last day or so that might come together rather quickly.

Nate Diaz has been calling for a fight for a while now. The UFC has kept him on ice hoping to book him against either Conor McGregor or Khamzat Chimaev. Diaz just wants to fight and he called for a fight with Chandler at 170 pounds.

Chandler has already said he’s game and that could be a fight that they decide to make. I’m confident in saying that Chandler will be facing one of the following three next: Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, or Dustin Poirier.

While he didn’t call out Poirier at UFC 274, I don’t think anyone would turn down watching that fight. If the Diaz or McGregor fights don’t come together, I’m expecting The Diamond to be the next opponent for Iron Mike.

Michael Chandler knocks Tony Ferguson out cold at UFC 274

On the main card of UFC 274, we saw matchup that fight fans have wanted to see for a very long time. Former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson (25-6) returned to the octagon he took on former title challenger Michael Chandler (22-7).

It’s been a really rough couple of years for Tony Ferguson in the UFC. After Khabib Nurmagomedov was denied entry into the US during the beginning stages of covid, Ferguson lost his title shot and was given an interim title shot with Justin Gaethje.

Ferguson was stopped in that fight and that loss started a downward spiral. In his last two UFC fights, he’s been dominated by Beneil Dariush and Charles Oliveira. He was looking to recapture some of his El Cucuy magic tonight.

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 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 274 lightweight contest started with no touch of the gloves. Ferguson looks for a low kick and he circles around the outside. Chandler looks very poised here in the opening minute and he pops his jab. Ferguson works his way in with an awkward combination.

Big low kicks from Chandler but both were checked. Both men exchange big left hooks. Sharp hook from Ferguson and down goes Michael Chandler. Chandler pops up immediately but Ferguson stunned him bad. Ferguson stalking Chandler her.

Big shot to the body from Chandler and a nice left hook. Check left from Ferguson lands and Ferguson goes back on the pressure. Another nice left hook from Ferguson wobbles the legs of Chandler. Chandler looking to answer with power, but he’s whiffing badly.

Out of no where Chandler explodes into a double leg and slams Ferguson to the ground. Two minutes left in the round. Ferguson lands a big elbow from the bottom and Chandler is busted open. Ferguson continues to look for attacks off the bottom.

Chandler trying to land big shots, but Ferguson is defending well here. Ferguson tries to attack an arm bar, but gets blasted with a big shot from Chandler. Chandler settles into the guard after landing that big shot.

Ferguson using the fence to try and get back up. Chandler has a decent body lock and drags him back to the ground. Helluva first round at UFC 274 and I give the first to El Cucuy.

Round 2

Entering the second round and despite the end of the round, momentum seems to be with Ferguson at UFC 274. Ferguson takes the center to start the second and Chandler circles on the outside. Out of no where a front kick to the face from Michael Chandler and Ferguson is out cold. Oh my god!

Michael Chandler def. Tony Ferguson by KO – Round 2

UFC 274 Preview: Tony Ferguson – Michael Chandler

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

Michael Chandler – Tony Ferguson booked for UFC 274

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One of the more highly anticipated lightweight matchups in the UFC has officially been booked. SI Now was the first to report earlier this evening that the matchup between Michael Chandler (22-7) and Tony Ferguson (25-6) has been booked.

The fight will go down at UFC 274 on May 7th. Headlining the May PPV is the lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje so it’s safe to say that May 7th will be a fun night if you’re a fan of the lightweights.

For Michael Chandler, he will be making his fourth appearance for the UFC. Chandler got things started with a bang when he made his debut back in January of 2021. He knocked out Dan Hooker in the first round which made a massive statement.

He was then given a shot against Charles Oliveira for the vacant UFC lightweight title. After completely dominating the first round, Chandler was stopped in the second round by the lightweight champion.

He followed that fight up with a Fight of the Year against Justin Gaethje at UFC 268. Chandler once again fell short, but the fight was sensational. He’s looking to get back to his winning ways inside the octagon.

UFC do or die for Ferguson?

For years, El Cucuy was the boogey man of the UFC’s lightweight division. Tony Ferguson went on an incredible run that led him to the interim UFC lightweight championship. However, undisputed gold always evaded him.

In 2020, Ferguson fought Justin Gaethje for the interim title and fell short. He then fought Charles Oliveira and once again fell short. After taking a little time off, Ferguson fought Beneil Dariush at UFC 262. Again, Ferguson fell short.

Tony Ferguson has now lost three in a row and none of the fights were extremely competitive. This is a huge fight for Ferguson because if he loses, it’s hard to say where he goes from here. This one should be a banger and fans should be excited.

UFC targeting Michael Chandler – Tony Ferguson

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The UFC is currently targeting a big time lightweight matchup that should have fans very excited. Dana White revealed on his exclusive Q&A yesterday on ESPN+ that the promotion was currently targeting a lightweight matchup between Michael Chandler (22-7) and Tony Ferguson (25-6).

White did caution and say that the UFC has not finalized the bout and nothing’s been signed. However, he did say that is the promotion’s plan. It’s a matchup that makes a ton of sense for the lightweight division.

Chandler is currently ranked fifth while Ferguson is ranked seventh. Most of the top ten is already booked and both men are coming off multiple losses in a row so it makes sense to pair the two fan favorites.

Chandler last fought at UFC 268 when he had the fight of the year against Justin Gaethje. He lost by decision, but definitely had big moments in the fight. Prior to that, Chandler fought Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title at UFC 262.

At that fight, it looked like Chandler was going to become lightweight champion. However, Oliveira did what he’s been doing for a while now and stormed back to open the second round with a TKO finish taking away Chandler’s dream of becoming UFC champion.

UFC targeting a fan’s dream fight

Prior to getting a shot at Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title, Chandler fought Dan Hooker in his UFC debut in January. However, Hooker was not the opponent that the promotion originally wanted for Chandler’s debut.

The UFC originally wanted Michael Chandler to fight Tony Ferguson. However, Ferguson wanted to fight in December while Chandler wanted to fight in January. Ferguson took a fight with Charles Oliveira as opposed to waiting on Chandler.

Of course, Ferguson fell to Oliveira which was his second straight loss at the time. Ferguson then fought Beneil Dariush back at UFC 262 and once again came up short by decision.

For years, Ferguson dominated the lightweight division and many considered him to be the best in the world. He rose to the top to become the interim UFC lightweight champion but never got his shot to be undisputed champion. The fight for that title always fell through.

Ferguson has made it clear that he still has plenty of fight left in him and he’s going to need all of it whenever he fights Chandler. There’s no timeline set for this fight just yet, but my guess is that we will see it in April or May.

UFC: Who will face Tony Ferguson next?

Tony Ferguson, UFC

For years, there was one man who was the boogey man of the UFC‘s lightweight division. That man was “El Cucuy” Tony Ferguson (25-6). Ferguson has been a staple of the lightweight division for years and he’s constantly been near the very top of the lightweight division.

We were first introduced to Ferguson on The Ultimate Fighter. El Cucuy won the show and earned himself a contract with the UFC after he knocked out Ramsey Nijem. Ferguson then went on to go 11-1 in his next 12 fights inside the octagon.

That stretch included a nine-fight win streak which included a win over former UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos. That streak led him to a fight with Kevin Lee for the interim lightweight title. Ferguson won that fight and became champion. However, Ferguson didn’t keep the interim title long as it was taken away following knee injuries.

Ferguson was considered by many to be the best lightweight in the world. However, that’s not the narrative anymore. After capturing UFC gold and going on an incredible 12-fight win streak, Ferguson has lost three in a row. He’s not just lost three in a row, but he’s been dominated in those three fights.

Who will the UFC pair him with next?

Since being on this recent skid, many have wondered what would be next for El Cucuy. Recently, Dana White came out and said that the UFC has a fight for Ferguson but he didn’t elaborate on who the opponent would be. Well, thanks to Twitter, we might have some insight.

Rafael Dos Anjos took to Twitter and tweeted at Ferguson asking him about a UFC Fight Night on February 19th. RDA said that he asked the promotion for a fight with Ferguson, and Ferguson seemed to brush him off. It appears that Ferguson would like the UFC to set him up against Michael Chandler.

Chandler was tweeting about a potential fight with Conor McGregor when Ferguson chimed in. Ferguson said that the UFC had relayed a message saying that Chandler would be ready for a fight in the spring. Chandler responded saying he would beat Ferguson bell-to-bell in a hypothetical matchup.

In looking at the UFC’s lightweight division, those two matchups do make sense for Ferguson. Another opponent to watch out for would be Dan Hooker. My guess is that we will find out sooner rather than later who will be fighting El Cucuy next.

What’s next for Dan Hooker after UFC 267?

Last Saturday at UFC 267, Dan Hooker (21-11) fought for the second time in just over a month when he took on Islam Makhachev (21-1). Hooker was trying to pick up his second straight win which would’ve had him right back in the title picture at lightweight.

For Hooker, the key at UFC 267 was going to be avoiding the takedown. If he couldn’t stay on his feet, it was going to be a steep road to victory. Unfortunately, he didn’t do himself a favor in the opening exchanges of the fight.

Hooker needed to strike from distance, which is what he started doing. However, he through a leg kick that was immediately caught and chained into a takedown for Makhachev. Once the fight touched the mat, it was virtually over.

Makhachev went right through the guard of Hooker and secured a dominant position. Once there, Makhachev locked in a kimura and forced Hooker to verbally tap at UFC 267 giving Hooker his third loss in his last four fights.

What’s next after UFC 267?

Last summer, Dan Hooker headlined a UFC Fight Night against Dustin Poirier. Had he won that fight, he would’ve likely been in line for a title shot. He started that fight extremely well and won the early rounds against Poirier.

However, Poirier came on really strong and won a decision. Then, Hooker was knocked out by Michael Chandler back in January. He bounced back against Nasrat Haqparast before stumbling against Islam Makhachev.

The thing that’s clear to me is that Hooker is one of the best lightweights in the UFC. However, at the same time, he’s not at the top of the division. After watching him take on some of the best, Hooker is more in the mid-tier to lower half of the top ten.

Still incredibly good and talented, but a step behind the elites of the UFC. So after this latest loss, what’s next for The Hangman? I still want to see the battle between Hooker and Tony Ferguson (25-6). This is a tremendous fight on paper and I truly believe it’s the right fight for both men. Time will tell if the UFC likes this one as well.

Is the UFC targeting Nate Diaz – Tony Ferguson?

Today we might’ve seen a hint that the UFC is targeting a lightweight matchup that fans have wanted to see for years. One of the biggest stars in the sport, Nate Diaz (20-13) took to Twitter today and posted a very cryptic tweet.

The tweet was just a picture of former interim UFC lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson (25-6). El Cucuy and Nate Diaz have long been linked to each other but a fight between the two men never materialized.

Now, with Diaz seemingly targeting Ferguson, perhaps the UFC is going to move in that direction. Over the past few years, Diaz has really been directing his own career. Usually, if he wants to fight someone, the promotion makes it happen.

Diaz got two fights with Conor McGregor, a fight with Jorge Masvidal, a fight with Anthony Pettis, then he recently fought Leon Edwards at UFC 263. The fight with Edwards made no sense for Diaz from a rankings perspective, but it’s the fight Diaz wanted so he got it.

Last UFC stand for El Cucuy?

Stockton’s Own appears to be targeting El Cucuy. Ferguson appears to be nearing the end of his run in the UFC. For years, Tony Ferguson was looked at as one of the very best lightweights in the world. In fact, for a while, many considered him to be the very best.

In the deepest division in the UFC, Ferguson went on a 12-fight win streak from 2013 to 2019. During that time he defeated the likes of Rafael Dos Anjos, Josh Thomson, Anthony Pettis, and Donald Cerrone. The highlight was his interim title victory over Kevin Lee.

During this stretch, the UFC tried to book Ferguson against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed lightweight title. In the six year stretch, Ferguson and Khabib were supposed to fight five times but it always fell through. Most recently at UFC 249 last April.

Ferguson ended up fighting Justin Gaethje for an interim title and lost. That loss started a streak that has now seen Ferguson lose three fights in a row. El Cucuy still has his following but it’s harder to book him a fight nowadays. A fight with Nate Diaz would satisfy the masses and makes sense for both men.

Dan Hooker interested in Tony Ferguson for his UFC return

At UFC 257, Dan Hooker (20-10) was in the co-main event of the Conor McGregor – Dustin Poirier card. Hooker was coming off of a loss to Dustin Poirier and was being tasked with welcoming Michael Chandler to the UFC.

When the betting lines closes, Hooker was the favorite. Prior to UFC 257, Hooker had only been defeated twice in nine fights at 155 pounds. When the fight started, Chandler pressed forward with a ton of pressure and Hooker just circled.

It seemed like Hooker was trying to gauge the range and timing of Michael Chandler. A couple of minutes in, Hooker landed his first big calf kick which I thought would be key for him. However, it was the last successful moment that he had.

Chandler pressed forward and threw a right straight to the body then came up with a vicious left hook. The shot sat Hooker down and Chandler followed up with shots that gave him the TKO victory at UFC 257.

Hooker was extremely disappointed and threw his gloves after the fight. However, he’s made it clear that he was just frustrated and he was never seriously contemplating retiring from the UFC once he calmed down after the loss.

UFC return?

Dan Hooker trains in New Zealand alongside UFC champions Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski. A lot of the time, these guys try to align themselves on cards together due to the quarantine rules in New Zealand.

With that, Hooker tried to get on the card at UFC 263 this weekend with Israel Adesanya headlining. However, the promotion couldn’t get him an opponent in time. With that, Hooker told Submission Radio last week that he’s targeting the proposed Volkanovski card in September.

When asked about potential opponents for his UFC return, one opponent Hooker really likes is Tony Ferguson (25-6). The former interim lightweight champion has lost three fights in a row, but like Hooker, has no plans on going anywhere.

Both lightweight contenders are 0-5 in their last five, but those five losses were against five of the top six lightweights in the UFC. For that reason, both men are still ranked inside the top ten. Both need a win and a fight between the two could make sense. I could definitely see the UFC entertaining that fight as an option.

UFC: ‘Pissed’ Tony Ferguson isn’t going anywhere

Tony Ferguson, UFC

This past Saturday at UFC 262, Tony Ferguson (25-6) met Beneil Dariush (21-4-1) in the co-main event of the evening. The former interim lightweight champion was looking to snap his two-fight losing streak.

Prior to UFC 262, El Cucuy looked like he was back to training the way he did during his 12-fight win streak. Ferguson was embracing the process and looked like he was ready to make a statement.

However, Saturday night didn’t go according to plan. Ferguson could never get started and was steamrolled by Beneil Dariush at UFC 262. Dariush used his superior grappling to get Ferguson to the ground and hold him there for three rounds.

The judges gave a clean sweep to Dariush on the scorecards. The loss meant that the former UFC interim champion had suffered three consecutive lopsided defeats inside the octagon.

Many pundits were wondering if Ferguson would walk away after UFC 262. Well, the former champion had a message on Twitter to the world about his fighting future.

Ferguson’s UFC Future

This fight at UFC 262 was another blow to Tony Ferguson. However, it’s important to keep something in perspective when thinking about this losing streak. His losses have come against three of the top four lightweights in the world according to the rankings.

It’s not like Ferguson has been losing to scrubs. Now, are Tony Ferguson’s days as a top lightweight in the UFC done? Perhaps those days of being a title contender are truly behind El Cucuy.

That said, I don’t believe that Ferguson’s career is over and neither does he. I do believe that he needs a step back and he needs to fight someone lower in the rankings. This week I wrote that the UFC should pair him with someone like Diego Ferreira. 

El Cucuy needs a reset to really see where he’s at in his UFC career. The promotion needs to do him a solid and give him someone more manageable. That said, if he loses his next fight in dominating fashion, it could be the of the road for the former interim champion.