Michael Chandler believes some time away would benefit Tony Ferguson.
In a short-notice fight against Nate Diaz, ‘El Cucuy’ was submitted via fourth-round guillotine at UFC 279 earlier this month. Now 0-5 in his past five appearances, Ferguson was implored to consider retirement, but Chandler has a different option in mind for the former interim UFC lightweight champion.
Instead of retiring, ‘Iron’ told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that Ferguson should take a break before returning to the Octagon. Chandler was surprised to see him so soon after their fight, especially since it ended with Ferguson being knocked out cold at UFC 274 this past May.
“I never want to tell a man what to do with his career,” said Chandler. “I love Tony, as a fan of what Tony has done. He’s been an absolute ridiculous joy to watch over the last however many years he’s been in the UFC. Obviously, getting to compete against him was awesome — I wanted that opportunity, and it came and worked out well for me.
“And as you said, he didn’t get beat up, and honestly, I would say he was winning the fight in a lot of ways,” continued Chandler. “I think that fight goes two more rounds if he keeps chewing up Nate’s front leg. That fight goes to the scorecards and it wasn’t as dominant of a victory as a lot of people would claim the way it actually ended, with Nate actually submitting him. But [I] never want to tell a guy what to do, but I do wish him the best. I hope he does take a little bit of time off. It is pretty crazy that he fought this past weekend. I’m not fighting for nine weeks, and he was the one who lost consciousness in our fight. So definitely take some time off, let your body heal a little bit.”
Ferguson has addressed those who want him to retire, telling Brett Okamoto of ESPN that he will do so ‘when feel like I’m ready’. The 38-year-old has not won a fight since his second-round TKO over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 238 over three years ago.
As for Chandler, he returns against Dustin Poirier at UFC 281, the upcoming pay-per-view event scheduled for Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
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