Tony Ferguson faked an ankle pick on Michael Chandler at the UFC 274 pre-fight press conference and it appeared he was about to make another move at the ceremonial weigh-ins on Friday except the former Bellator lightweight champion didn’t budge.
.@TonyFergusonXT pump faked, but @MikeChandlerMMA didn't bite #UFC274 pic.twitter.com/a7a13w9jzb— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) May 7, 2022
While the lightweights shared an intense face off there was no serious animosity, although Ferguson continued to stare down Chandler after UFC president Dana White had already separated them.
Afterwards, Ferguson made a move towards Chandler, perhaps seeing if he could make his opponent flinch but he didn’t get a reaction as the lightweight left the stage without any further incident.
Meanwhile, the main event between Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje definitely featured a tense faceoff after a dramatic turn of events earlier on Friday changed the stakes in that fight.
Oliveira missed weight, which means he was stripped of the UFC lightweight title and will be unable to win the belt on Saturday night. Meanwhile, Gaethje can still become champion with a win but obviously he has to get through Oliveira first.
For his part, Oliveira didn’t make any excuses but insisted that he’ll be leaving the cage as the true champion even if he won’t have the belt.
“These things happen,” Oliveira said. “You can’t explain God. The champion has a name and it’s Charles Oliveira and I’m going to shock the world tomorrow.”
In the co-main event, Rose Namajunas will look for revenge when she faces off with Carla Esparza in a rematch after they first met to crown the inaugural UFC strawweight champion in The Ultimate Fighter season 20 finale.
Now almost eight years later, Namajunas will attempt to retain her title while Esparza seeks to become a two-time champion.
“My purpose is just to do my best,” Namajunas said. “If it’s [God’s] will, it will be ‘and still’”