With Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson both on losing streaks, both men desperately need a win to hold their place in the stacked lightweight division. Bantamweight champion Aljamiain Sterling thinks Chandler needs the win more.
You still got to get wins.
Sterling explained on The Schmozone Podcast.
“[Chandler] came in very hot. In my opinion, he has had fun and exciting fights but he hasn’t delivered,” Sterling said. “In a sense- it’s cool to entertain, but you still got to get wins in order to stick around. For him, I think kind of he realizes that a bit. Like he wants to go out there and still have fun but I think he’s going to do it a little bit more calculated this time around.”
The bantamweight champion thinks it is possible that Chandler gets cut with a loss, and if Ferguson loses, he retires.
Sterling’s teammate and recently semi-retired Al Iaquinta says both fighters really need the win. ‘Raging Al’ brought up the point that Ferguson has fought a whos who throughout his career, and he doesn’t think he gets cut; however, he doesn’t know if he should be fighting someone like Chandler.
Raging Al gives his take
“For Ferguson, the guy has fought everybody. The last couple fights he has lost but, who has he fought? He has fought everybody. If he loses to Chandler, make give the guy a [break],” Iaquinta said. “I don’t know if he should be fighting Michael Chandler right now.”
There is no doubt that there are huge stakes in the featured bout this weekend for UFC 274. It could be career-altering for either fighter.
In the same interview, Sterling said that either T.J. Dillashaw or Henry Cejudo would most likely be next for him; however, he is not looking to just hop on any pay-per-view card. He hopes to get on the upcoming biggest card.
“[Sean] Shelby was just asking when I want to get back but I don’t know, I’m not really thinking about that. I told my manager to tell him, when is the biggest card? We can sit and talk about it and see which one I can get on. I’m not looking to get back because you need a filler fight like you did with me in October [for UFC 267]. That was not cool, because you threw me under the bus and made me look like an asshole when I wasn’t even cleared to fight,” Sterling said. “The fans read the headlines and I’m automatically the bad guy, so I don’t know.”
If he wants to get on the biggest card, he should start looking to hop on Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic, which is rumored to take place in September.