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Dana White on Michael Chandler vs. Tony Ferguson at UFC 274: ‘Nobody’s fighting for their life in this one’

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Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson’s future with the UFC won’t be in jeopardy Saturday.

Skidding lightweights Chandler and Ferguson square off on the UFC 274 pay-per-view main card at Footprint Center in Phoenix, where UFC president Dana White says a loss for either man won’t dictate their future with the company.

“You’re still talking about No. 5 vs. No. 7 in the nastiest division in the sport,” White told The Underground. “So if you look at who they’ve lost to, it’s all the best in the world. These guys always bring it. They always come to fight. Nobody’s fighting for their life in this one.”

Chandler (22-7 MMA, 1-2 UFC) burst onto the UFC scene with a first-round knockout win over Dan Hooker in January 2021, which immediately earned him a title shot. However, the former Bellator champion fell short against Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title at UFC 262, followed by another setback to Justin Gaethje at UFC 268 in MMA Junkie’s 2021 Fight of the Year.

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Ferguson (25-6 MMA, 15-4 UFC), on the other hand, went from a 12-fight winning streak, including capturing the interim lightweight title in October 2017, to three straight lopsided losses to Gaethje, Oliveira, and most recently Beneil Dariush at UFC 262.

On the contrary, White says the loser of the PPV main card opener between Donald Cerrone (36-16 MMA, 23-13 UFC) and Joe Lauzon (28-15 MMA, 15-12 UFC) should consider hanging it up. Lauzon has lost three of his past four, whereas Cerrone is winless in his past six bouts.

“They’re a different story,” White said. “That one should be the loser probably packs it up and rides off into the sunset. That I would agree with.”