At UFC 262, Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira competed for the vacant UFC lightweight championship following the retirement of former titleholder Khabib Nurmagomedov. After an explosive two rounds of combat, it was Oliveira who had his hand raised after turning in a come-from-behind TKO victory at the expense of “Iron” Mike.
Fast forward one year later, and Chandler believes another vacant lightweight title bout is in order, this time with “Do Bronx” watching from the sidelines while he gets a second crack at vacant lightweight gold.
Chandler Pitches Vacant Lightweight Title Bout Against Islam Makhachev
After Michael Chandler’s successful UFC debut last year, one man who volunteered to fight him was Islam Makhachev, who was struggling to face a ranked opponent inside the top 10.
Chandler had knocked out Dan Hooker in grand fashion and thus found himself ranked in the top 5. Chandler did not seem interested in a bout with Makhachev at the time, but as evident by recent comments, it appears things have changed.
Makhachev is currently rumored to be facing Charles Oliveira next for a lightweight championship that was vacated at UFC 274. But now, Chandler has decided to insert himself into the title conversation.
Seeing as how Oliveira has been lobbying to fight Conor McGregor next and Makhachev has been pushing hard to receive a title shot, Chandler has pitched a solution that would make everyone happy — himself included (h/t LowKickMMA).
“Hey, Charles (Oliveira), do your thing, bro,” Michael Chandler posted on his Instagram story. “Wait till Conor (McGregor) comes back, you deserve it. On a couple fight win streak, smashing through everybody. Why don’t you sit out? Wait for Conor to come back, I’ll keep the division warm, I’ll keep the division going. I’ll fight Islam (Makhachev) next – I’ll fight Islam for the title.”
“And then whenever you get your so-called ‘superfight’, do your thing, get it out of your system, then you can come back to our division. See you at the top.”
Michael Chandler most recently defeated Tony Ferguson with a frontrunner for knockout of the year at UFC 274. With that win, he is 2-2 in the UFC and is currently ranked #5, one spot below Makhachev (#4).
Islam Makhachev is currently terrorizing the lightweight division on a 10-fight winning streak, one less than Oliveira’s 11. Oliveira is fresh off another finish, submitting Justin Gaethje in their UFC 274 bout in May.
There have been signs that Chandler could be on his way to a potential grudge match with Dustin Poirier after their altercation in the crowd last weekend at UFC 276. However, as he put it with his catchphrase, Chandler is looking to bypass Poirier and instead see Makhachev then Oliveira at the top.
What do you think of Michael Chandler’s pitch?