UFC president, Dana White has confirmed that the organization is currently working on a lightweight pairing between the #5 ranked contender, Michael Chandler, and former interim titleholder, the #7 ranked, Tony Ferguson. White elected against confirming an event, location, or date for the targeted bout.
Last featuring at UFC 268 back in November, Chandler fell to the #5 spot in the official lightweight ranking, dropping a unanimous decision defeat to common-foe, Justin Gaethje at Madison Square Garden.
Off the back of Gaethje’s victory, the Arizona native has since booked a May 7. title siege against Charles Oliveira at UFC 274.
For Ferguson, the Oxnard veteran is currently in the midst of a disappointing three-fight losing run, dropping a third one-sided loss to the #3 ranked, Beneil Dariush at UFC 261 back in May of last year. White first confirmed the promotion’s plan to book Ferguson vs. Chandler during a live Q&A session with Laura Sanko, stressing the bout was not official, however.
Establishing a 1-2 record since his UFC bow back in January of last year, former three-time Bellator lightweight champion, Chandler debuted in the organization with a massive first round knockout victory against Dan Hooker at UFC 257 on ‘Fight Island’.
Sharing the UFC 261 card with Ferguson, Chandler headlined against current lightweight champion, Oliveira in a vacant lightweight title clash – suffering a second round knockout.
Seeing his stunning, division-tying 12-fight winning run halted back in May 2020 at the hands of the aforenoted, Gaethje in an interim title fight, suffering a damaging eventual fifth round knockout loss.
In December of that year, The Ultimate Fighter 13 victor suffered a hugely one-sided unanimous judging defeat against the above mentioned, Oliveira in a co-main event slot at UFC 256. The 37-year-old’s most recent victory came at UFC 238 where he handed Donald Cerrone a second round doctor’s stoppage TKO loss.
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