Michael Chiesa says Tony Ferguson fight makes sense: ‘It’s not like they threw him to the wolves’

Michael Chiesa doesn’t get the criticism behind fighting Tony Ferguson.

Chiesa (16-7 MMA, 11-7 UFC) takes on the skidding Ferguson (25-10 MMA, 15-8 UFC) in a welterweight bout at UFC on ABC 7, which takes place Aug. 3 card in Abu Dhabi.

With Nick Diaz returning against Vicente Luque on the same card, many thought it would have made more sense for Diaz to fight Ferguson, and Chiesa run things back with Luque. However, Chiesa says he’s also on a losing streak.

“There’s definitely people that are sending me messages like, ‘Take it easy on him – please let him win,'” Chiesa said on The MMA Hour. “I’m like, you’ve 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 20s on a win streak. He’s fighting a guy that’s 36 and is 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. 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 that 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?”

Chiesa was scheduled to face Ferguson July 2016 at UFC Fight Night 91, but was forced out of the fight due to back injury. He was replaced by newcomer Lando Vannata, who pushed Ferguson to the brink but was ultimately submitted.

Regardless of Ferguson’s current form having lost seven straight, Chiesa is just happy to get another opportunity to fight him.

“This is the fight that’s meant to happen,” Chiesa said. “This fight’s meant to be. And people can say what they want about the current state of his career, but I’m training for the guy who was on the 12-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.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ABC 7.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie