Michael Chandler has always welcomed calls from potential opponents, most notably UFC Vegas 31 main event winner Islam Makhachev.
After an unbalanced victory over Thiago Moises on Saturday night, Makhachev apparently asked to fight just about everyone ranked in the UFC lightweight division, but he took particular interest in Chandler, who served as an analyst for the event on ESPN.
“I see here Michael Chandler, why not? Come on Chandler, “Makhachev said backstage at UFC Vegas 31.” Are you coming for an easy fight in the UFC? No, you’re from Bellator, we want to give you a hard time. Let’s do this. Chandler, if you can hear me, let’s go. You are from Bellator, I want to check your skills.
In response, Chandler praised Makhachev for a job well done as he put in a stellar performance in his first UFC main event while extending his current winning streak to eight consecutive fights.
Chandler also couldn’t help but smile upon hearing his name mentioned as Makhachev took full advantage of an audience captive to his attention after such an impressive victory over Moises.
“A nifty little call right there,” Chandler said when responding to Makhachev on the UFC Vegas 31 post-fight show. “He did what he said he was going to do tonight and he did this. that he had to do tonight, which is to go there and put a big mark on his performance. Now he also does what he has to do. He’s sitting at number 9, he wants to say as many names as he can. Slick little call.
“The man impressed tonight. I have to take off my fighter hat, be the analyst tonight, he did a phenomenal job against a very tough man. Kid has a bright future, we’ll see what happens.
Of course, Chandler wasn’t going to get off that easily as fellow analyst Michael Chiesa pushed him a little harder by asking him to break up a possible style match with Makhachev.
While Chandler has built a reputation for his knockouts and mind-blowing Fight of the Night performances, he is also a former college wrestler with a wealth of wrestling experience at his disposal.
As for Makhachev, he comes from the Khabib Nurmagomedov fighting school where he loves to bring his opponents to the ground and crush them into oblivion but could he do that against Chandler?
“I’m a homer when it comes to wrestling,” Chandler explained. I think the fight beats everything. I think wrestling beats judo, [Brazilian jiu-jitsu], I think it beats the sambo but it’s just me who am a homer. But what Islam Makhachev does is he brings you to these positions and he puts you in a position where you cannot really move. Thiago Moises has phenomenal chain holds. We saw him go everywhere, up, down, flip, roll, sweep. He wasn’t able to do a lot of these things. The best thing Islam does is neutralize guys. When you neutralize a guy, it’s not just physical. It’s mental. It’s emotional. It’s cardio. It sucks the life of guys.
“Can he keep up the pace that long?” He showed tonight that he can finish later in the rounds. I think wrestling beats sambo. I think wrestling beats all other martial arts on the ground. Maybe one day we will see.
Doing his best not to deprive Makhachev of a well-deserved spotlight on his night out, Chandler referred to the potential surrounding the Russian lightweight with an unlimited amount of possibilities in front of him now that he has imposed himself. as one of the best in the world.
“Khabib said he thinks he’s the future of the division,” Chandler said of Makhachev. “Then only time will tell. Either way, man has a bright future.