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Michael Chandler thinks power will be difference maker in Tony Ferguson fight

Michael Chandler talks about his upcoming lightweight fight against Tony Ferguson.

UFC 268: Gaethje v Chandler
Michael Chandler prepares to take on Justin Gaethje at UFC 268 on Nov. 6, 2021.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Michael Chandler thinks his power, speed, and athleticism will be too much for UFC veteran Tony Ferguson.

Chandler and Ferguson are expected to collide in a lightweight matchup later this year and ‘Iron’ Mike can’t wait to throw down with one of the most unorthodox and unpredictable fighters on the UFC roster.

“I think my biggest advantage, I think I’m just basic and I’m going to keep a high pace … we know Tony can keep a high pace, but I think it’s going to be a little bit sharper,” Chandler told CBS Sports in a recent interview (h/t Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie). “I think my power is going to be a lot for him. I think I’m going to have a speed advantage and an athleticism advantage. I think I’m good in all the areas that Tony is good at. I think he’s got very slick jiu-jitsu. I have yet to ever be caught in a submission, so I don’t see Tony catching me in anything like that. But he is very dangerous on the ground. I think his biggest attribute, his biggest strength and the thing that people fear the most is he’s got a little bit of a screw loose.

“That’s what excites everybody about these matchups. You never know what you’re going to get whenever Tony steps into the octagon – whether reaching down, throwing imaginary sand in your face or he’s doing spinning elbows and spinning kicks and knees and all kinds of stuff. He’s just unpredictable, so you’ve got to expect the unexpected when you’re fighting Tony Ferguson. He’s a hard guy to prepare for. Therefore, it’s going to be a very interesting training camp: Try to keep it light, have a little bit of fun and show up on fight night and hopefully get a finish.”

Chandler vs. Ferguson hasn’t been made official, but Chandler expects an announcement in the coming weeks. The former Bellator lightweight champion expects the matchup to take place in early summer and would like to fight again during International Fight Week in July.

“As far as how far along it is, I’m assuming that is my next fight sometime this summer,” Chandler said. “I don’t know the exact date or the location, but that’s who I’m training for. That’s who I’m watching film of. That’s who I’m thinking of fighting – getting in shape, laying a good groundwork, good foundation right now to go into a nice hard training camp for a fight this summer. I’m all systems go for a Tony Ferguson fight, so we’ll see when we get the contract signed and get this thing, moved along and get announced. “I don’t know if I want to wait till July, but I would definitely like to fight on an International Fight Week. So maybe I go run through Tony before that and then I can fight again in July. We’ll see.”

Chandler is hoping to bounce back from back-to-back losses to Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje while Ferguson will look to snap a three-fight losing skid and elevate himself back into title contention.