The roulette wheel of possible opponents continues for "Iron" Michael Chandler. Now the former three-time Bellator lightweight champion thinks he may face Tony Ferguson first.
As the backup fighter to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje, it's all still up in the air. Yes, Khabib has had issues in the past (tiramisu for example), and Justin has been basically spotless come weigh-ins. But there's another wild card this time around. The possibility of one or both fighters testing positive for Covid-19.
Whether you feel the UFC's newest acquisition is deserving of a title shot right out of the shoot, is inconsequential. The decision was made. But recently Michael Chandler was looking at the math of things. He feels if Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier run back their fight from 2014, it leaves Tony the odd man out. And he's right for the taking.
Michael Chandler said:
"I'd really love the opportunity to fight anyone in the top five".
Especially if Conor wants that fight first, and doesn't attempt to box Manny Pacquaio. Right now Michael Chandler is riding a two-fight win streak, and both coming by 1st round knockouts. And out of the 34-year-old's 21 wins, 16 are finishes. He has 9 KOs to go along with the 7 submissions.
And at that rate, Tony Ferguson actually might be the best opponent. The former UFC interim lightweight champion is a finisher. Despite his most recent TKO loss to Gaethje, he has 12 KO wins and 8 submission wins out of his 25 total.
That fight was 5 months ago now. And Tony took a beating but has been training again for a while. The UFC could very well use this fight in December to close out the year strong.
This type of chatter makes MMA fans want cross-promotional fights so badly. Looking at a much wider view, there isn't anyone in the top 15 at 155 that you can look at and say, "no that wouldn't be a fun fight to watch".
UFC fans that don't have an eye on Bellator are in for something special. The only possible monkey wrench here is the fact that the 34-year-old wrestler seems like he lost a little off his fastball. And we're not talking a lot either. Maybe just a quarter of a step slower in reaction time.
But no matter the order of Michael Chandler's opponents; he'll proudly face everyone Dana White puts in front of him.Published 02 Oct 2020, 22:05 IST