Khabib Nurmagomedov Discredits Michael Chandler As An Elite Fighter, Chandler Responds

Khabib Nurmagomedov doesn’t think Michael Chandler is on an elite level and the former Bellator Lightweight Champion has responded.

Nurmagomedov is scheduled to take on Justin Gaethje in a title unification bout at UFC 254. “The Eagle” is the UFC Lightweight Champion, while Gaethje holds the interim gold. The matchup is set to take place this Saturday, October 24. It’ll be held inside the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

Chandler has been slotted as a replacement opponent in case either Nurmagomedov or Gaethje end up being forced off the card. Known for his exciting fighting style, fight fans have been clamoring to see how Chandler performs against the UFC’s top 155-pounders.

Nurmagomedov doesn’t appear to be impressed. He told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter that Chandler has a lot to prove before he can be called an elite lightweight.


“I don’t even need to use my wrestling against Michael Chandler. I know he came here to Abu Dhabi, but he’s going to come here, make weight and go home… Go home and fight with other fighters. He is not a high-level championship fighter.”

Chandler was asked about Nurmagomedov’s comments during a media scrum and he said the following.

“Him saying he doesn’t even need to use his wrestling to beat me, I think that’s somewhat of an elementary statement. I don’t think that’s at all accurate. Truth be told, as I’ve said numerous times and I’ve told you in the past, I think I have the recipe to beat Khabib. And that’s not me disrespecting him at all. I just have unwavering confidence in myself, unwavering confidence in my abilities, and my calling on my life coming to the UFC at this time, the right moment for me to come out here whether it’s this weekend or it’s months from now or a year from now, to get that UFC strap.”

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