An all-action lightweight brawl is on course for UFC 274 on May 7th in Phoenix, Arizona.
Former Bellator champion and one-time UFC title challenger Michael Chandler is set to face former UFC interim champ Tony Ferguson, per Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barasso. This fight has been targeted for several weeks and now it has a home.
A staple of Bellator’s roster for ten years, Chandler (22-7) made his much anticipated UFC debut in 2021 and spectacularly stopped Dan Hooker at UFC 257. That win clinched a shot at the vacant title against Charles Oliveira at UFC 262, which ended in a dramatic KO loss early in round two after Chandler started the fight brightly. His last outing was a three-round war with Justin Gaethje, which incredibly went the distance but ultimately was a Gaethje decision win at UFC 268.
Ferguson (25-6) is on a three-fight losing run against the gauntlet of Justin Gaethje (for the interim title), Charles Oliveira (the current champion), and most recently Beneil Dariush at UFC 262. It feels like we’re a long way from the days when Ferguson had a 12-fight winning streak and dispatched the likes of Edson Barboza, Rafael dos Anjos, and Kevin Lee (to win the interim belt). Largely through well-documented misfortune, we never got to see ‘El Cucuy’ challenge for the undisputed UFC title and any chance of him getting that elusive first shot at the belt would be slammed shut with a loss here.
UFC 274 is headlined by a lightweight title fight between champion Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje.