Chandler will face former interim UFC lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson, in a three-round bout on the UFC 274 main card. It’s been dubbed by some fans as the ‘people’s main event’ featuring two top-tier contenders.
But Chandler knows that Ferguson has a larger UFC fanbase than he does just a few fights into his promotional tenure. During his UFC 274 media day press conference, he alluded that he’s not just prepared for Ferguson, but a potentially hostile reception from Ferguson’s fans.
“I will say that I remember how big of a support he (Ferguson) had in May when I fought Oliveira for the title (in Texas),” Chandler said. “The dude’s got a following, and his following travels. So, I expect there to be—and it’s the fact that it’s Arizona, obviously, there’s gonna be a Mexican heritage contingency,… Cinco de Mayo, you know. Turns out I’m going into enemy territory. I didn’t even realize that until just now.”
Chandler went on to address if this fight night will feel any different than some of his past appearances.
“Competition to me, hand-to-hand combat, is the same, whether it’s in front of a couple hundred people at the Hearnes Center back in Missouri or at these sold-out arenas. I’m gonna go out there and do what I do best.”
Chandler is looking to stay in the lightweight title chase following back-to-back losses to Gaethje and Charles Oliveira last year. He earned a lightweight title shot against Oliveira at UFC 262 after knocking out Dan Hooker in his UFC debut at UFC 257.
Chandler is no stranger to the big stage. Before signing with the UFC, he enjoyed multiple reigns as the Bellator lightweight champion, earning wins over the likes of Benson Henderson and Patricky Pitbull.
Chandler and Ferguson are both looking to get back in the win column after recent struggles, and Chandler is looking to seize the moment tonight at UFC 274.
What is your prediction for Michael Chandler vs. Tony Ferguson at UFC 274?