Khabib Nurmagomedov Wants Michael Chandler to Fight Islam Makhachev for No.1 Contender Spot

Published 10/16/2020, 2:47 PM EDT


Khabib Nurmagomedov will have one of the toughest challenges of his career laid out in front of him next week. Despite being just a few days away from his fight against Justin Gaethje, Khabib is still trying his best to look out for the ones he is very close with.

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A lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje will headline UFC 254 next weekend. Khabib’s close teammate Islam Makhachev was also scheduled to fight on the card. However, his opponent Rafael dos Anjos pulled out after testing positive for Coronavirus. Consequently, Islam is now left without an opponent.
If Islam doesn’t fight at UFC 254, his countless hours of efforts in the gym would go in vain. Therefore, Khabib sent out a message to Chael Sonnen, as a Hail Mary, to get the ball rolling for Makhachev next weekend.

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(Khabib) said, ‘Chael, I watch your videos, I need to tell you something. I want to make this very clear,”’ Sonnen recounted. “He said, ‘There’s no one I’m closer to than Islam.’ And he said, ‘I’m telling you right now, if Michael Chandler beats Islam, I will view Michael Chandler (as) the number one contender, and I want you to get the message out.’
I said, ‘OK, Khabib, when I get the message out, I’m gonna say you called me, you told me this.’ He goes, ‘That’s what I’m doing. Get that message out’,” Chael Sonnen said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.

Khabib Nurmagomedov has also blasted Michael Chandler for not knowing Islam Makhachev

Khabib is very close to his teammate Islam Makhachev. Although Islam is yet to break into the top 10 of the UFC lightweight rankings, he knows about his toughness. In some ways, ‘The Eagle’ views Islam in the same position that he once was in his early days with the promotion.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Khabib blasted fellow lightweights for not knowing who he is. He also targeted Chandler by bringing up his loss against Patricio Freire.

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While Khabib wants Chandler to go up against Islam, Dana White thinks otherwise. At the press conference after UFC on Fight Island 6 weigh-ins, White closed the door on a fight between the two. The UFC supremo wants to book a fight for Chandler. However, he is willing to wait till after UFC 254.
As far as Islam is concerned, White added that he is also working on booking him a fight soon.

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DIVE DEEPER

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6 months ago

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Rishabh Singh

655 articles

Rishabh Singh is an MMA author at EssentiallySports since 2020. An engineer in the making, his love for combat sports began by watching Anderson Silva light people up inside the Octagon. When he isn't busy in his technical pursuits, he is an avid reader with a love for sports in general and sporting history in particular.

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