UFC fan favorite Michael Chandler has revealed he didn’t practice the front kick that led to his KO of Tony Ferguson at UFC 274, admitting that he never thought he would land such a devastating strike in the Octagon.
Although he trains under Dutch kickboxing legend Henri Hooft at Sanford MMA, ‘Iron Mike’ doesn't particularly like throwing front kicks because he’s a ‘big baby’ when it comes to getting his feet hurt in training.
“I dont know if I saw it in the moment, my body just moved, foot to face and a couple of back-flips,” Chandler said following his Knockout of the Year candidate against Ferguson (h/t The Mirror). “Sometimes the fights materialise exactly how you want them to and sometimes you stay within your normal box of what you use.
“Sometimes it works and sometimes you throw something you never, ever thought you would land, never mind knock someone out with. It’s not something we train; I have the best kickboxing coach on the planet in Henri Hooft but we don’t train front kicks. The main reason is it hurts my toes so my right foot is a little sore and I’m a big baby when it comes to my feet getting hurt.”
Although Chandler is obviously celebrating his historic victory, the former three-time Bellator lightweight champion takes no joy in Ferguson’s defeat and wishes The Ultimate Fighter 13 winner a speedy recovery.
“It’s tough because ideally that’s what I want to do to Tony Ferguson,” he said. “We’re in the business of separating guys from consciousness but Tony Ferguson has been a guy who has helped build the lightweight division. My thoughts and prayers are with him and I’m hoping for a speedy recovery.”
Chandler is now 2-2 in the UFC and has called for a welterweight showdown with Conor McGregor in his next fight. He is currently #5 in the UFC lightweight rankings.