"There is a 0% chance I'll fight Tony Ferguson in December," Chandler told ESPN on Tuesday. "And I 100% know he knew that, because the UFC already told him that, and I've already said I'll see him in January.
Chandler was responding to a video Ferguson recently posted on social media, in which he asked UFC president Dana White to book the matchup at UFC 256 on Dec. 12. In a separate post, Ferguson tagged Chandler's account and said, "Michael Chandler you Putz, Ya Asked For It."
The 155-pound matchup has been a talking point since Chandler (21-5) signed with the UFC in mid-September. There were talks of it happening at UFC 254 on Oct. 24, but it did not come to fruition. Ferguson (25-4) later told ESPN the UFC wanted him to fight Chandler, but he wanted to renegotiate his contract first.
Now, Ferguson is calling for a fight in December. Chandler, who made the 155-pound championship weight as an alternate for the lightweight title fight at UFC 254 -- he ended up not competing, of course -- said he needed a break, as he'd essentially been in camp for nine consecutive months in 2020.
"The UFC didn't offer me the fight in December, because they know I'm on a timeline now," Chandler said. "I just made weight in October. Everybody knows I'm an active fighter and I'm constantly training, but I needed just four weeks off. Essentially, Tony is campaigning for us to fight in 3.5 weeks.
"Tony, you had the opportunity to fight me in October and you said no. You didn't even bring up fighting in December until it was way past the 11th hour. Let's be realistic and sign up for Jan. 23. If you think you still have what it takes to fight for a title, fight me on Jan. 23. Why not take that opportunity, instead of muddying the water with this silly stuff?"
Representatives for Ferguson declined to comment on the matter at this time.