Michael Chandler Explains Why He’s Not Interested In Fighting Islam Makhachev
Michael Chandler has explained why he had no interest in fighting Islam Makhachev at UFC 254.
Chandler is on standby for the UFC 254 main event. He will serve as a replacement opponent if Khabib Nurmagomedov or Justin Gaethje can’t make it to the event. The event will take place on October 24 inside the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Makhachev was scheduled to fight former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 254. That plan went south when dos Anjos tested positive for COVID-19. Makhachev issued a challenge to Chandler but the former three-time Bellator Lightweight Champion wasn’t interested. Makhachev is now off the UFC 254 card.
During a chat with MMAJunkie.com, Chandler explained why he doesn’t feel a bout with Makhachev makes sense at this time.
“The answer is no. I think there’s already been talks about the next move after this. The ship has sailed as far as – like I said, if Tony Ferguson did say, ‘Yeah OK, I’ll be your huckleberry Oct. 24,’ which if there’s anybody out there that might actually do something like that it would be Tony Ferguson, but at this point, I’m not changing courses. At this point I’m not taking a short notice fight against a guy, as I said, my words have been somewhat misconstrued and people are just hitting me up left and right.”
Many believe that these comments from Chandler triggered Nurmagomedov to say that the former Bellator mainstay isn’t a true elite lightweight. Nurmagomedov and Makhachev are training partners and childhood friends.