Jon Anik believes Tony Ferguson still has plenty of gas left in the tank ahead of Saturday’s UFC pay-per-view event.
In the lightweight featured bout of UFC 274, Ferguson will take on former Bellator champion and one-time UFC title challenger Michael Chandler at the Footprint Center in Phoenix. With “El Cucuy” competing for the first time in a year, Anik is hopeful Ferguson — who enters the contest in a three-fight skid — will be able to show flashes of brilliance that made him one of the most feared 155-pounders in UFC history.
“I just hope he competes well,” Anik told MMA Fighting. “I don’t think this is going to be the last Tony Ferguson fight week by any stretch of the imagination. Even though it might not be the majority opinion, I believe there is still some fight in the dog.
” It seems like he has hit the reset button. The year is gone, and he brings in his old college wrestling coach. I like the matchmaking and we’ll see what Tony can do with it.”
Earlier in the week, Anik took to Twitter to reveal he has seen a lot of love for Ferguson ahead of the matchup with Chandler as he looks to bounce back from losses against UFC 274 headliners Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje, along with Beneil Dariush during his current streak.
It is nice to see the support for Tony Ferguson, as the UFC 274 fightweek gets under way. He faces Michael Chandler as part of a massive PPV this Saturday from Phoenix, Arizona. Few more sleeps is all…
— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) May 2, 2022
For the longtime UFC commentator, being able to have a spotlight shone upon resumes and body of work means a lot more to him than most.
“I’m not really looking for it but I do feel like I am because I have been trying to place this man on a pedestal since years.” Anik said. Anik explained that if it weren’t for the stray television cord, no one would debate whether or not Tony deserves to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Some people don’t care as much as I do about these legacies being acknowledged to that extent, but I just love Tony’s style, i love how hard he was worked.
” You want to discuss inimitable. It’s the only one. I am looking forward to watching my daughter and son watch his film when there is more red material. But I guess I like to see the avid fan sort of acknowledge his legacy when it is his fight week.”
Chandler enters the fight coming off of back-to-back losses to Saturday’s lightweight championship participants and will do so as a massive betting favorite.
With many questions still to answer at the top, Anik (who will be calling the action Saturday along with Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier) believes there may be more at play in the matchup between Chandler & Ferguson than what is obvious.
“The top of the division is interesting because, what if Tony Ferguson is able to do something this weekend? Anik stated that Ferguson is now in the top five after a win and will receive a lot of support. We understand that Islam Makhachev is not going to be overlooked, but we also know that there are many things that could happen in this weekend’s fights. The same goes for Michael Chandler. If he wins this fight, he positions himself for a big fight — I don’t know if it’s going to be Dustin Poirier and I don’t know to the extent Poirier even wants that fight — but then Chandler could find himself in a title eliminator if he beats Tony Ferguson.
” The implications can be huge. Conor McGregor is also included in the mix. Justin Gaethje, even though he’s currently champion, would not be surprised to try and defend his title in a short time. Although there are many options for staying relevant, I believe that the best approach is to fight every three months. But, yeah, we’re going to get some clarity one way or another.”