All the talk following UFC 274 has rightfully been about one man and one knockout. Michael Chandler delivered a brutal front kick to knockout Tony Ferguson in the second round of their bout, which could set up a clash between himself and UFC icon Conor McGregor if the latter is serious about a comeback to the octagon.
Chandler, 36, who has only ever delivered box office performances since moving to the UFC, had to overcome an early knockdown in the fight before seizing the opportunity to deliver the telling blow that saw Ferguson fall face first and unconscious to the canvas. The former Bellator Lightweight World Champion knew it was over, immediately scaling the cage to celebrate his work.
From the beginning, both men were keen to show they were live threats in the fight, with plenty of heavy leather being exchanged. And, it was Ferguson who struck first with a left hand, that saw Chandler drop to the floor. While Ferguson looked to capitalise, Chandler did well to regroup and recover. As you will expect, Ferguson continued in the same vein looking for further success, but Chandler had other ideas, taking the bout to the floor.
At the end of the first round, it’s fair to say Chandler had some problems. He had a cut and swelling under his eye. While both weren’t immediately going to cause an issue, the longer the fight went on, the more of a hindrance they were sure to become. So, you could suggest what happened seventeen seconds into round two came at the right time.
Chandler has always been an expert in taking opportunities that come his way. And when a thirty-eight-year-old Tony Ferguson has his arms wide, and to the side, a front kick to the chin is always going to be on the cards. As the blow connected, Ferguson’s lights were turned well and truly off, with the referee immediately bringing to fight to a halt. It took a few moments, but Ferguson was able to get back to his feet and leave the cage unaided.
After securing the knockout victory in such dramatic fashion, which went on to earn Chandler the Performance of the Night award, Chandler’s attention quickly went from the present to the future. He was quick to insist that the UFC fans wanted to see him rematch Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje, who he lost to in 2021. And it’s fair to say that many would be invested in either of those rematches happening.
However, Chandler also had some words for UFC megastar Conor McGregor. He said, “Conor McGregor, you’ve got to come back and fight somebody. I am the most entertaining lightweight on the planet.” He went on to add, “You and me at 170 this summer, this fall, this winter.” It remains to be seen whether the mega bout can be made. But, if it can be, it’s sure to be massive.