Tony Ferguson’s Next UFC Foe Michael Chiesa: ‘It’s Not Like They Threw Him To The Wolves’

Michael Chiesa is training for the Tony Ferguson who was on a 12-fight win streak.

Chiesa Tony
(via @mikemav22, @ufc - Instagram)

Michael Chiesa has the opportunity to make UFC history happen for Tony Ferguson.

Though, Chiesa wouldn’t be doing the former interim lightweight champion much of a favor in handing him his eighth-straight loss when they collide later this summer at UFC Abu Dhabi as CEO Dana White announced last week. Ferguson is currently tied with BJ Penn for the longest losing streak in the promotion at 7 with defeats coming at the hands of marquee names at lightweight.

It’s a change of scenery for Ferguson at welterweight as he faces a fellow ‘TUF’ Champion in Chiesa, who’s a victim of a three-fight losing skid himself. Chiesa, 36, hasn’t fought since a TKO loss to Kevin Holland at UFC 291 last July. 

A Full Circle Moment At UFC Abu Dhabi

Chiesa was first scheduled to face Ferguson in a lightweight booking in 2016, but withdrew due to a back injury. Eight years later, they’ll run it back they were supposed to all that time ago and Chiesa is treating it like such on Aug. 3.

“This is the fight that’s meant to happen,” Chiesa said on ‘The MMA Hour‘. “This fight’s meant to be. And people can say what they want about Tony’s, the current state of his career. But, I’m training. I’m training for the guy that was on the twelve fight win streak. I’m not thinking about the shortcomings. I’m in the same boat as him. I’m training for the best Tony Ferguson. I’m training for the guy I was supposed to fight eight years ago.”

Chiesa Is No ‘Young Whippersnapper’

The Tony Ferguson that Chiesa had been pitted against in 2016 was at the top of his game, bloodying lightweight contenders left and right, battering former champ Rafael Dos Anjos over the course of five rounds at elevation later that year. “El Cucuy” today is far removed from his prime, showing glimpses of his former, elite self in defeats to Michael Chandler, Nate Diaz, Bobby Green and more.

Not everybody was a fan of the UFC giving Ferguson another chance in the Octagon with many calling on the 40 year-old’s retirement. Despite the evident losing skid and everything else on paper, Chiesa refuses to look past the former glory of Ferguson.


“There’s definitely people that are sending me messages like ‘Take it easy on him, please let him win’. I’m like, you got to remember, dude, at the end of the day, this is still Tony Ferguson. He’s not fighting a guy that’s in his twenties on a win streak. He’s fighting a guy that’s 36 and his 0-3 in his last three fights. It’s not like they threw him to the wolves. It’s a fight that honestly makes sense.

“And I like the idea of fighting Vicente Luque again,” Chiesa did admit, noting of Luque’s booking on the same card vs. UFC legend Nick Diaz. “That’s a fight where I feel like I beat myself more than I got beat by the better man. This is the fight that they offered, and this is the fight that I’m going to take. Especially given the history, it’s something hat I would like to just be able to say, I went out there and did the dance with him. Look, at the end of the day, if he beats me, he beats me. It is what it is. But, it’s not like he’s getting thrown in there with some young whippersnapper, you know?”

The UFC’s Nuclear Option: Nick Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson

Both fighting into their forties, UFC Champion and commentator Daniel Cormier had suggested Tony Ferguson fight Nick Diaz with the Stockton-native turning 41 by the time he returns against Luque. On the commentary desk from time to time, Chiesa says it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world but it ultimately falls on Diaz to sign the contract at the end of the day.

“I understand people like the idea of him fighting Nick. He fought Nate in the past and things like that, but this is the fight, and people got to deal with it. And for Nick, too, people got to remember who Nick Diaz is. Nick Diaz doesn’t come back and ask to fight Tony Ferguson. You know how Nick is. Nick comes back, and I want to fight Kamara Usman. I want to fight Colby Covington. I want to fight the best guys… Like Nick, even if they offer Tony Ferguson, do you think Nick’s going to take that fight? Probably not. Nick wants to fight the best guys, so this is the next best thing he could get is Vicente Luque, a guy who [has been in the] top five, top ten.”

Published on June 5, 2024 at 3:07 pm
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