Michael Chandler’s UFC 274 KO stirs up flashbacks for Stephen Thompson

Welcome to The Weekly Takedown, Sports Illustrated’s in-depth look at MMA. Every week, this column offers insight and information on the most noteworthy stories in the fight world.

Michael Chandler’s delivered one of the greatest all-time knockouts against Tony Ferguson at UFC 274, landing a front face kick that was an equally intoxicating blend of brutality and excitement.

The loss was especially humbling for Ferguson, an icon of the sport who entered the bout stuck in a three-fight losing streak. His spirits were momentarily uplifted after a competitive first round, one where he clipped Chandler in the right eye that, Chandler later admitted, affected his vision. The bruise around his eye was beginning to swell when Chandler ended the fight 17 seconds into the second round with that career-defining kick to Ferguson’s face, a moment that completely removed any and all of Ferguson’s brief momentum.

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