Monday, December 5, 2022

Islam Makhachev Wants To Test Michael Chandler’s ‘Bellator Skills’

Fresh from mauling Thiago Moises on Saturday night, UFC lightweight Islam Makhachev has called out Michael Chandler.

Makhachev is now on an eight-fight win-streak after he earned a submission victory over Moises in the main event of UFC Vegas 31. The #9-ranked lightweight showed that he’s got more in his locker than just grappling skills, putting on an impressive display of striking in round one.

For the rest of the fight, however, it was business as usual. Islam landed takedowns in each round and dominated from top-position before earning a rear-naked choke finish in the fourth. 

Islam Makhachev

In his post-fight Octagon interview, Makhachev was quick to address an issue that seems to be weighing on him—namely, not being able to find opponents willing to face his much-feared grappling and slick, southpaw kickboxing.

“Why all these guys run?” Makhachev asked interviewer Paul Felder. “Nobody want to take this fight. Please give me an answer.”

The 29-year-old later called out Rafael Dos Anjos, telling the Brazilian that “you can run, but you can’t hide.”

Islam Makhachev Calls Out Michael Chandler To His Face

Not satisfied with his Dos Anjos call-out, Makhachev went after an even bigger name during his interview on the UFC Vegas 31 post-show. With Michael Chandler watching from the analysts’ desk, Islam looked directly into the camera and called out the #4 ranked lightweight to his face.

“Chandler, if you hear me, let’s go, let’s do this. You come from Bellator, I want to check your skills,” said Makhachev.

In a later interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Makhachev explained why he’d like to face Chandler next over any other fighter.

“Because, you know, he have big name, like, he is good now. I think Chandler is very interesting fight for me because Michael Chandler have everybody talking about him, he fight for the title couple months ago. That’s why,” said Makhachev. 

What do you think? Is Islam Makhachev ready to face Michael Chandler?