Michael Chandler is one of the best lightweight fighters in the world. For the moment, however, he is not able to test himself against the sport’s consensus best lightweight fighter, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. That’s because Chandler currently calls Bellator MMA home, whereas Nurmagomedov is tied up with a UFC contract.
While Michael Chandler and Khabib Nurmagomedov currently fight for different promotions, Chandler believes it’s possible they’ll find themselves under the same roof in the future. He could wind up in the UFC, or Nurmagomedov could end up in Bellator. In fact, he believes it’s possible the UFC champ could be fighting for Bellator within a year or two.
“Let’s keep this in perspective,” Michael Chandler told MMAjunkie. “Yes, I did sign with Bellator, but it was not a lifetime deal. It wasn’t a 10-fight deal. It wasn’t even an eight-fight deal. It will not carry me to the end of my career. There will be more contracts being signed.
“I am still a young fighter,” he continued. “I’m 32, but I feel like I’m 22. So therefore, I can’t imagine declining in skill to where there’s not going to be great opportunities for some ridiculously good matchups. Not to mention, Khabib is getting offered $2 million by 50 Cent, not to mention the fact that Bellator’s roster is ever-evolving.”
“To think it’s out of the realm of possibility that Khabib is going to be a Bellator fighter in the next year-and-a-half to two years at only 30 years old, you’re a little bit ignorant to think there can’t be some switching of these rosters in the very near future.”
Michael Chandler will attempt to reclaim the Bellator title from Brent Primus at Bellator’s Salute the Troops event on December 14. Do you think we’ll see him fight Khabib Nurmagomedov down the road?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/17/2018.