‘I’d Be Sad if Chandler Won’- Khabib Nurmagomedov Says Michael Chandler Winning Only After 2 Fights Is Not Fair

Published 06/01/2021, 12:19 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: Khabib Nurmagomedov interacts with media during the UFC 249 press conference at T-Mobile Arena on March 06, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Khabib Nurmagomedov was really happy to see Charles Oliveira become the lightweight champion at UFC 262. After 28 fights and over a decade in the promotion, ‘Do Bronx’ managed to reach the pinnacle of the sport. He defeated Michael Chandler via second-round knockout to claim the belt.

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Nurmagomedov believes Chandler becoming champion wouldn’t have been just. UFC 262 was the second time ‘Iron’ had entered the UFC Octagon. ‘The Eagle’ believes the former Bellator champion needs to shed more blood and tears inside the UFC Octagon to lay claim to the UFC belt.

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It’d be sad if Chandler won. If he became champion after 2 UFC fights, it wouldn’t be right. Oliveira improved a lot and he deserves to be champion. I’m really happy for him because when anyone reaches success you have to respect that. I think he deserves to be champion,” said Nurmagomedov.

Chandler finished Dan Hooker in the first round at UFC 257 in his debut for the organization.

Many believed he didn’t deserve to step in there to fight for the UFC gold. However, given his body of work over the course of his career, ‘Iron’ can certainly argue his case too.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 23: (R-L) Michael Chandler punches Dan Hooker of New Zealand in a lightweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

But Chandler wasn’t victorious in his first shot at the title. He came close to finishing ‘Do Bronx‘ in the first round. However, ultimately, the Brazilian was victorious.

Is Khabib Nurmagomedov right in his assessment of Michael Chandler?

‘Iron’ certainly has an exceptional resume under his belt. However, there are fighters like Tony Ferguson who have never fought for the title despite having one of the greatest winning streaks in the company’s history. Even Oliveira had to put together a formidable winning streak to get his shot at the throne.

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HOUSTON, TEXAS – MAY 15: (R-L) Charles Oliveira of Brazil punches Michael Chandler in their UFC lightweight championship bout at Toyota Center on May 15, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

The UFC title is considered the pinnacle of combat sports. So, one might understand why Nurmagomedov feels this way about Chandler becoming the champion. But with Chandler’s learning attitude and incredible work ethic, one can expect ‘Iron‘ to fight for the belt soon again.

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Apratim Banerjee

849 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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