Michael Chandler and Dana White seemingly dismiss the notion that Islam Makhachev could skip the line for a UFC title shot

Dana White, UFC, Nick Diaz, Miguel Baeza

Dana White has seemingly dismissed the notion that Islam Makhachev could leapfrog Michael Chandler or Justin Gaethje in the UFC contender line.

Makhachev (21-1 MMA) improved his current win streak to nine in a row at last weekend’s UFC 267 event, earning a dominant technical submission victory over Dan Hooker in the very first round.

That win served as the Russian’s third stoppage victory in a row and had many fight fans calling for him to get a title shot.

Dana White was asked if Islam Makhachev could leapfrog Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje in the lightweight contender during Thursday’s UFC 268 press conference in New York.

“We don’t care what Islam [Makhachev] says,” Chandler answered for White (via MMAFighting). “Saturday night, me and Justin Gaethje get after it, we’re the No. 1 contender. It’s a No. 1 contender’s fight.”

Islam-Makhachev-Michael-Chandler

For his part, Dana White did not seem to dispute Chandler’s notion and followed up with the following sentiment.

“Gaethje’s ranked No. 2 in the world,” White said. “[No. 2 and 4] are fighting on Saturday.”

Justin Gaethje (22-3 MMA), the promotions former interim lightweight champion, will be returning to action for the first time in twelve months on Saturday at MSG.

‘The Highlight’ last competed for Dana White and company in October of 2020, where he suffered a submission loss to lightweight great Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Meanwhile, Michael Chandler (22-6 MMA) will also enter UFC 268 in hopes of rebounding from a recent setback. The former Bellator champion most recently competed back in May, where he fell short in his goal of capturing the UFC’s vacant lightweight title, suffering a second round TKO loss to Charles Oliveira.

As for Islam Makhachev, it will be interesting to see who Dana White and UFC officials plan on matching the streaking Russian up against next.

Who do you want to see Makhachev face in his next Octagon appearance? Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!

 

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