UFC 274: Michael Chandler Praises Oliveira, Also Wants McGregor Fight

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Phoenix, AZ – The featured bout at UFC 274 put two of the most exciting lightweights in the world in the octagon together in a fight that promised fireworks, and did it ever deliver. Lightweight Michael Chandler caught Tony Ferguson with a monstrous front kick that landed right on the chin and put Ferguson out for a few minutes.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday night at his post-fight media scrum Chandler acknowledged that Ferguson came in much better than most believed he would. Chandler knows he was tested in the cage in that fight.

“1000%. Once again I always go back to why we love the sport of mixed martial arts. Was I supposed to beat Tony? Absolutely. Was I supposed to steam roll him in a lot of people’s eyes? Absolutely. Was I a big favorite? Absolutely, but anything can happen in 4oz gloves while your heart is beating through the roof. You’re in a packed arena here in Phoenix,” Chandler said.

“Tony is who we thought he was. Awkward, rangy, unorthodox.”

In fact you could argue Ferguson won the first round after dropping Chandler with a shot.

“I made the same mistake. I came in there with a right hand, pulled myself out, and got caught with something. We’re going to clean that up,” Chandler said.

Once Ferguson was able to land on Chandler and drop him it seemed as though the former Bellator champion abandoned any strategy he may have come in with and began to swing heavy shots at Tony.

“Ya’ll (media) have said hey is it your goal to fight tooth and nail and be in these big wars? Obviously I’ve got a wife and two kids at home. I want to be the champion, I don’t want to just entertain the fans. I wanted to have a little bit of a feeling out process. Obviously I got hit. Just trying to get my feet underneath me honestly with finally standing in front of Tony who I knew was going to be somewhat of a test when it came to how awkward he was. And he’s skilled, and he was going to be really hard to get out of there,” said Chandler.

“I was hitting him with some pretty decent ground and pound as well. Dude’s a tough dude,”

Eventually Chandler landed what many are calling the best front kick KO they’ve ever seen that saw Ferguson drop unconscious and Chandler do three back flips in the octagon in celebration.

“I don’t even know if I saw it in the moment. My body just moved foot to face and just a couple back flips. Honestly I was talking to some people I think sometimes the fights materialize exactly how you want them to. Sometimes you stay within of what you always use and it works. Sometimes it doesn’t work. And sometimes you throw something that you never ever thought you would ever land, let alone knock someone out with. It’s not something that we trained,” Chandler said.

“We don’t train a lot of front kicks I will tell you that. Mainly the reason is because I told Henry (Hooft) I don’t want to do that man it hurts my toes. My right foot is a little bit sore, and I’m a big baby when it comes to my feet getting hit. Didn’t train it, but it landed tonight.”

Chandler cut what could be the best promo fans have heard in a very long time and called out the winner of the main event bout between Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje. Oliveira defeated Gaethje via submission in the first round, but the lightweight title remained vacated due to Oliveira’s weight miss on Friday morning.

“He (Oliveira) was unreliable, he had a spotty record. He couldn’t be relied upon to string together good performances. He was a boy back then and he has become the man that is Charles Oliveira, the champion, that is Charles Oliveira. I lost to him, but I think we have unfinished business,” Chandler said.

The other man that Chandler called out was the former lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor has been out while recovering from a leg injury he suffered at UFC 264 in July 2021.

“That fight with Conor obviously I’m serious about it. You’re going to be hard pressed to find somebody that doesn’t think I’m one of the most exciting guys on the planet now. I think I’ve proven that numerous times now. Conor needs a big fight to put butts in seats, to sell PPVs, and a fight at 170 would be a lot better than 155,” Chandler said.

Chandler mentioned that he would like to take a vacation with the family, but one fight in particular could pull him from that break early.

“Definitely the Conor fight I would end the vacation. We’ll see what happens. When Conor comes back and he’s healthy, I’ll be there.”

Watch the full UFC 274 post-fight press scrum with Michael Chandler above. More coverage from the event can be found below.

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