Michael Chandler plans fight with Islam Makhachev after UFC 294

After taking care of some long-gestating business with Conor McGregor, ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler has every intention of testing his mettle against reigning lightweight world champion Islam Makhachev.

UFC 294 saw Makhachev score a stunning first-round knockout of Alexander Volkanovski to retain the 155-pound crown.

With back-to-back wins against the current featherweight king, Makhachev will likely begin his search for a new challenger. In all likelihood, that will be BMF titleholder Justin Gaethje or Makhachev’s original UFC 294 opponent, Charles Oliveira.

You can also add Michael Chandler to the list of fighters ready to throw down with Khabib Nurmagomedov’s successor.

“12 month plan…KO Conor and KO Islam. I’ve calibrated to right where I need to be,” Chandler wrote on X following Saturday’s pay-per-view in Abu Dhabi. “Settled in. See you soon boys.”

Michael Chandler didn’t stop there, suggesting Makkhachev wouldn’t know how to respond if someone dragged him into a dogfight.

“Islam hasn’t fought anyone who sees “red” – hasn’t been in a dogfight – he has fought polished guys…the dogfight is his kryptonite. #ufc294,” Chandler added in a follow-up post.

Before he gets another crack at becoming the UFC’s lightweight champ, Michael Chandler is expected to welcome Conor McGregor back to the Octagon sometime in 2024. Originally, the pair were slated to scrap in December at UFC 296 not long after wrapping up their coaching duties on the 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter. Unfortunately, McGregor failed to re-enter the USADA testing pool for the required six months of pre-fight screening, pushing their inevitable clash into the new year.

The Irishman has since jumped back in the pool, but with the UFC set to part ways with USADA, it’s possible we could see McGregor return long before hitting the six-month mark.

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