Makhachev and Chandler have taken digs at each other over the past several days. The tension started when Chandler claimed Makhachev had been receiving “premature praise” for mostly beating unranked fighters.
Now, Makhachev is questioning whether Chandler deserves another title shot, even if he can get past Dustin Poirier. The Dagestani believes Chandler needs to fight the up-and-coming crop of UFC lightweights to prove how good he truly is.
On Twitter, the UFC lightweight title challenger urged Chandler to test himself against the likes of Arman Tsarukyan and Drew Dober – two fighters who Makhachev has already beaten in the past:
“Chandlers claims for title is ridiculous. Got finished in the title fight and then beat old Tony who’s 0-5 in last five,” Makhachev wrote. “Fight with young and hungry guys like Tsarukyan or Dober first, and we’ll see how good you are.”
Check out Islam Makhachev’s tweet below:
Makhachev will finally get a crack at divisional gold against Charles Oliveira in the main event of UFC 280. The pay-per-view event will take place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Meanwhile, Chandler will face Poirier in a much-anticipated lightweight bout at UFC 281 in November. A victory would, for Chandler, all but guarantee that he’s back in the division’s title picture.
Michael Chandler thinks “it’s crazy” Islam Makhachev is favored over Charles Oliveira
Islam Makhachev will enter this month’s title clash as a -162 betting favorite against Charles Oliveira.
Michael Chandler faced the Brazilian with the vacant lightweight title on the line in the main event of UFC 262. Oliveira ended up surviving Chandler’s onslaught in the first round, mounting a TKO comeback victory and capturing UFC gold in the second.
Knowing how dangerous Oliveira is, Chandler thinks it unreasonable for ‘do Bronx’ to be the betting underdog. During an interview with MMA Junkie, the former Bellator lightweight champion said:
“Charles has the upper hand, in my opinion. I think it’s crazy that he’s an underdog, but I do think Islam has the tools to be able to win. So we’ll see what happens on Oct. 22. I’ll be watching that very intensely, and I hope to face the winner.”
Watch Michael Chandler’s interview below: