Chael Sonnen sees Michael Chandler using the same blueprint that Tony Ferguson’s past opponents have.
Chandler (22-7 MMA, 1-2 UFC), who’s coming off a “Fight of the Year” war against Justin Gaethje this past November at UFC 268, meets Ferguson (25-6 MMA, 15-4 UFC) at UFC 274 on May 7 at Footprint Center in Phoenix.
In his three octagon bouts, former Bellator champ Chandler has thrilled fans with some entertaining battles, but has dropped two straight to UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira and, most recently, Gaethje. Ferguson will also look to snap a losing skid. But like Chandler, Sonnen thinks “El Cucuy” still has plenty of fight left in him.
“I do not believe Tony’s best days are behind him, and I don’t think Tony looked rusty in his last fight,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel. “I did not see a fighter that was underdriven or that had slowed down or that had lost his power, that had lost his timing.”
In his past two losses to Oliveira and Beneil Dariush, Ferguson was controlled on the ground. He was taken down a total of six times in those fights and Sonnen thinks NCAA Division-I wrestler Chandler will likely resort to his grappling when they throw down.
“You can bet your ass Chandler’s not planning to come out and throw lefts and rights all night with Tony,” Sonnen said. “He’s going to throw a left, follow with a right to get close to get to a double leg, to pick him up to put him down because that’s what he saw the last couple opponents do.
“I do not subscribe to the idea that Tony Ferguson’s best days are behind him. I don’t even subscribe that Tony looked bad in his last fights. I acknowledge there was a commonalty in those fights, which was one position, and it was wrestling – which happens to be something that Michael Chandler is pretty good at.”