Michael Chandler is motivated to prove himself in the UFC lightweight division, thanks to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s challenge to the top contenders in the 155-pound bracket.
After his Bellator contract expired, Chandler, 34, signed with the UFC in September 2020. He served as a back-up fighter for the UFC 254 main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje. After multiple hurdles, Chandler will finally make his promotional debut against Dan Hooker on January 23 at UFC 257.
Taking to social media, Michael Chandler said that he has accepted Nurmagomedov’s challenge and will see the Russian fighter at the top.
Khabib Nurmagomedov told Dana White that if any of the four lightweights set to fight at UFC 257, namely Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor, Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler, do something “spectacular”, he will come back to the UFC and defend his belt against one of them.
Nurmagomedov also said that he was impressed by Charles Oliveira, who had put on an incredible display against Tony Ferguson, citing ‘Do Bronx’ as one of his potential future opponents.
“He is one of the lifebloods of the UFC” – Michael Chandler on Khabib Nurmagomedov
In his interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Michael Chandler had previously stated that Khabib Nurmagomedov is a legend, and that he wants ‘The Eagle’ to make his return to MMA.
“Dana wants him to come back because Khabib is a legend, he’s a superstar, he is one of the lifebloods of UFC and we all, myself included, we all want to see him fight again,” said Chandler.
Now that Nurmagomedov has issued a challenge to his fellow lightweights to try and do something spectacular, Michael Chandler will look forward to putting on an exemplary performance against a tough opponent in Dan Hooker.
However, the chances of Michael Chandler sharing the octagon with The Eagle right after his fight against Hooker are fairly low, given that the 34-year-old will presumably have to secure another big victory, apart from Hooker, to lay a claim on the UFC lightweight championship.
Published 17 Jan 2021, 06:21 IST