Islam Makhachev is looking to remain on UFC 254 and is hoping Michael Chandler will step up.
Makhachev was originally supposed to fight Rafael dos Anjos, yet the Brazilian announced he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is out of the fight. So, for Makhachev, he hopes Chandler, who is serving as the backup for UFC 254’s title fight will step up.
— Makhachev Islam (@MAKHACHEVMMA) October 9, 2020
“RDA is out yo @MikeChandlerMMA here’s your chance to jump on the Island #UFC254,” Makhachev tweeted.
Islam Makhachev is currently on a six-fight winning streak and is 18-1 overall with his lone loss coming to Adriano Martines by knockout at UFC 192. During this run, the Russian has notable wins over Davi Ramos, Gleison Tibau, and Nik Lentz among others.
Chandler is currently on a two-fight winning streak with both coming by first-round KO over Sidney Outlaw and Benson Henderson. Before that, he suffered a TKO loss to Patricio Freire to lose his lightweight title. In his career, he has notable wins over Eddie Alvarez, Patricky Freire, Marcin Held, and Goiti Yamaguchi among others. Despite him having success in Bellator, many including Tony Ferguson are not happy he is the backup fighter for the title.
On paper, it doesn’t make much sense for Chandler to accept the fight with Makhachev. He is already the backup fighter and if his services aren’t needed could get a top-ranked guy like Ferguson, Dan Hooker, or Paul Felder.
Yet, if he wants to fight right away and prove he is among the best, a win over Makhachev and ending that winning streak would be big. It could also catapult him into a title shot.
For now, it is uncertain if the UFC will keep Makhachev on the card or rebook him for a fight in the next few weeks.
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