Michael Chandler Does Not Underestimate Tony Ferguson: “Extremely Dangerous”
Michael Chandler refuses to believe that Tony Ferguson is on his way down.
Ferguson, who previously held the interim title in lightweight, has after one of the longest winning streaks in the UFC recently suffered three losses in a row. First against Justin Gaethje, then against the current lightweight champion Charles Oliveira and most recently against top-ranked Beneil Dariush.
Despite the opponent’s recent lack of success, Chandler does not intend to underestimate him.
“Tony Ferguson has always been a recurring fighter at the top,” Chandler told ESPN’s DC & RC program.
– It has only been a few years since he won twelve fights in a row and looked completely unbeatable. He could possibly have defeated Khabib. There were many who believed it. Could it have happened? We do not know because we never saw it happen. But he is still extremely dangerous and always does well even against the best in the weight class.
Michael Chandler rides a losing streak himself
After a great win against Daniel “The Hangman” Hooker, Chandler lost his title fight against the reigning lightweight champion Charles Oliveira via TKO, then came a loss via decision in a memorable duel against Justin Gaethje.
In the match against Gaethje, Chandler showed his toughness and now finds relief in the realization that he can bite down the mouthguard and fight is heart out when needed. At the same time, he understands that he will probably need a smarter tactic against Ferguson.
“I can not sit here and tell you that I want to be a champion in the UFC and then go out every fight and forget all about caution,” said Chandler.
– The positive thing is still that I have that quality within me and it is something you can not teach. You can not teach toughness or heart. And I have that a lot.
Despite this, Chandler says that in order to get his hand raised in the octagon, it is important to be smart. An important way forward, according to him, is to withdraw from the battle temporarily, find new ways in, and show that he is experienced.
– I do this by using more of the head I carry on my shoulders and less of the monster that lives inside me. I really think I’ll become a UFC champion. Some wins will be needed, and I think Tony Ferguson is the perfect opponent along the way.