The UFC will not be finding Tony Ferguson a replacement opponent at UFC 254, they’ve instead just decided to pull him from the card entirely.
‘El Cucuy‘ was initially scheduled to face fellow former interim UFC Lightweight Champion Dustin Poirier, and the booking stayed together for a while there. The issues started when Poirier wanted more money, but he and the UFC couldn’t come to an agreement, and he removed himself from the fight considering.
After about a week of thinking we’d see Ferguson fight someone else on October 24, we’ve been told he won’t be fighting on the card after all.
Aaron Bronstener of TSN broke the news earlier today via Twitter:
“”I spoke with Dana White earlier and he confirmed that Tony Ferguson will no longer be competing at UFC 254.””
This is incredibly unfortunate, UFC 254 is going to be absolutely huge, there are so many great fights on that card. This was just another great fight with two of the top five lightweights in the world. The card is headlined by the two top lightweights in the world, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.
Tony Ferguson versus Dustin Poirier was going to be the co-main event, undoubtedly a No. 1 contender fight, and also the backup to the main event, should anything happen to either the interim or undisputed champion before the fight happens.
Now that ‘El Cucuy’ is pulled from the card, he won’t be eligible to serve as a backup. Instead, the UFC has announced that newly signed multiple-time Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler is going to be the backup.
Honestly, they already had a fight put together where one of them was serving as the potential backup, they should have booked Chandler against Ferguson. How insane would that have been? We wouldn’t even be upset that Ferguson wouldn’t be fighting Poirier anymore.
Nonetheless, we do have a new exciting talent added to the UFC’s lightweight division in Michael Chandler. He’s arguably Bellator’s most successful fighter they’ve ever had, the only two that’d rival that are Patricio Freire and Ben Askren.
Chandler versus Ferguson would have been a great fight to see. Now that we know he’s the backup for the UFC 254 main event, he may or may not have to fill in. Who would you like to see Michael Chandler fight in his UFC debut, and who would you like to see Tony Ferguson face next?