Islam Makhachev doesn’t see Michael Chandler sticking around for much longer.
Chandler said it himself when arriving in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2021, he’s not here for a long time, but a good time. His next match up against Conor McGregor will deliver exactly what he hoped for after knocking out Dan Hooker in his Octagon debut.
The upcoming 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) will see Chandler and McGregor as rival coaches before inevitably squaring off in the second half of 2023. A win for either will act as a rebound performance, and in the current Lightweight champion, Makhachev’s mind, he believes that could be all that’s left for “Iron.”
“It’s a good fight for the MMA fans, but if Chandler wins, he’s going to retire for sure,” Makhachev said at UFC 284 media day. “Make some good money and that’s it. Chandler, so smart guy because I saw his last couple fights. He fights crazy like he comes from the street. Now I understand why he did this. If he beats [Dustin] Poirier and [Justin] Gaethje, this fight never happens. But last four fights have had same streak, he lost three times, that’s why this fight is happening.
“For Conor, he chooses small guy, 170 [pounds], and finally someone is gonna win,” he concluded. “Conor retires every day then comes back to the Twitter, I don’t know.”
While both occupying the top of the division as elite-level fighters, Makhachev and Chandler have yet to cross paths thanks to the latter’s losses to Poirier, Gaethje, and former titleholder, Charles Oliveira. This weekend (Sat., Feb. 11, 2023) at UFC 284, Makhachev attempts to make his first successful title defense by defeating Featherweight kingpin, Alexander Volkanovski.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 284 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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