Ahead of their clash at UFC 274, Tony Ferguson and Michael Chandler were asked to comment on Kamaru Usman's interpretation of the Imanari roll. The two lightweight contenders laughed at the question, admitting that they thought the welterweight champion is great at a lot of things but not this specific move.
In episode 2 of the UFC 274 Embedded: Vlog Series, Chandler was seen training with Kamaru Usman. Usman performed the move as a way of preparing 'Iron', who faces 'El Cucuy' on May 7. Ferguson has attempted the move in previous fights.
In the video, Chandler spoke about his preparations for his upcoming clash with the former interim lightweight champion:
"Today's the last hard day. Come in, move around. Have fun. You saw Kamaru there going for Imanari rolls and that kind of stuff. We'll be prepared for whatever Tony throws at us."
At their UFC 274 pre-fight press conference, Chandler was asked by the press about his training camp. More specifically, the question was about the clips from the Embedded episode, which showed 'The Nigerian Nightmare' helping the lightweight contender.
Despite the question being directed at Michael Chandler, Tony Ferguson grabbed the mic to interject:
"Kamaru Usman's Imanari rolls suck!"
Chandler laughed, as did the crowd. He explained that Usman was just playing around and trying to emulate Ferguson. 'Iron' also labeled 'El Cucuy' as a unique talent who is difficult to prepare for.
The two lightweight contenders will meet for the first time at UFC 274 on May 7. Both men are on multiple-fight losing streaks. Despite the setbacks, they remain in good spirits and are still amongst the fan favorites. A win for either man could kickstart them on another journey towards a title shot.
Watch Kamaru Usman's attempted Imanari rolls here:
Tony Ferguson still wants to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov
Ahead of his fight with Michael Chandler, Tony Ferguson couldn't help but take yet another shot at retired former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Speaking to Daniel Cormier, 'El Cucuy' admitted that he's not finished with his desire to fight the Russian:
"I'm gonna be real, the last few fights I didn't prepare like I should have. I didn't take the opportunities I wanted to. I'm not gonna say on purpose, but I wanna be real. There was enough film out there for Khabib to take a fight and the p***y's still running."
The two lightweights once seemed destined to meet inside the octagon. Unfortunately, the bout is deemed by fans as one of the most cursed in UFC history. A fight between the two men was scheduled five different times. Freak injuries, COVID-19 restrictions and failed medical clearances prevented the pair from ever facing each other.
It remains just as unlikely to happen, with 'The Eagle' having retired from competition.
Watch the interview with Tony Ferguson and Daniel Cormier here: