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White: Chandler and Ferguson both safe, but loser leaves town in Lauzon vs Cerrone | UFC 274

UFC 238: Ferguson v Cerrone Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Lightweight contenders Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson will collide at the UFC 274 pay-per-view (PPV) event this Sat. night (May 7) in Phoenix and a loss for “iron” would be his third straight and leave the former Bellator MMA champ at just 1-3 under the UFC banner.

Similarly, Ferguson would register a fourth straight loss if he’s unsuccessful this weekend in “The Copper State” and likely take a big hit in the official rankings (see them here). The good news is, UFC President Dana White has no plans to release either fighter in defeat.

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CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE DIP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Phoenix, Ariz., on Sat., May 7, 2022, with a blockbuster championship doubleheader. Headlining the pay-per-view (PPV) event will be Lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira, seeking to defend his title against No. 1-ranked contender, Justin Gaethje. In UFC 274’s co-main event, women’s Strawweight champion, Rose Namajunas, looks to avenge her loss against No. 2-seeded, Carla Esparza. And top-ranked Lightweight contenders collide when Michael Chandler (No. 5) locks horns with Tony Ferguson (No. 7) in a fan-friendly 155-pound clash for the ages.

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“You’re still talking about No. 5 vs. No. 7 (ranked fighter) 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.”

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for lightweight mainstays Joe Lauzon and Donald Cerrone, who are scheduled to open the PPV main card at 10 p.m. ET.

“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.”

Lauzon (28-15), who turns 37 later this month, has not competed since his technical knockout victory over Jonathan Pearce at UFC on ESPN 6 back in late 2019. As for the 39 year-old Cerrone (36-16, 2 NC), he’s winless across his last six and looking to rebound from his first-round blowout at the hands of Alex Morono at UFC Vegas 26 last May.

Maybe they can battle to a draw and live to fight another day?

For more news and notes on UFC 274 be sure to visit our comprehensive event archive right here. For the updated, revised, and finalized “Oliveira vs. Gaethje” fight card and ESPN+ PPV lineup click here.