Michael Chandler reacts after Khabib Nurmagomedov defeats Justin Gaethje and retires from MMA

Michael Chandler
Image via @mikechandlermma on Instagram (photographer not listed)

UFC lightweight contender Michael Chandler reacted after Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 and then retired.

Chandler, the former three-time Bellator lightweight champion, signed a lucrative free-agent contract with the UFC after his contract with Bellator expired. As part of his deal with the UFC, Chandler was paid to be the backup fighter for the Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje fight. Thankfully, both men make it to the fight unscathed and make weight and the fight stayed intact, so Chandler just got back to sit back and watch the show.

Taking to social media following UFC 254, Chandler reacted to Nurmagomedov’s dominant win over Gaethje and his shocking retirement announcement after.

There is no doubt, @teamkhabib is one of the greatest to ever grace the octagon and the undisputed P4P number 1. But the show must go on and I am ready for whoever, whenever. #UFC254

And I know @justin_gaethje won’t want to wait…he said it tonight…I’ll be ready tomorrow. #UFC254

And let’s bring @TheNotoriousMMA out for fight week as an alternate just to be safe. #UFC254

Chandler currently finds himself in a great spot in the UFC. The fact the promotion gave him the backup duties for UFC 254 shows just how highly the organization thinks of him because they were ready to give him a title shot if someone else fell off the card. So despite not actually getting to fight at UFC 254, Chandler is in a great position.

For his first fight in the Octagon, it’s likely the UFC will look to match Chandler up against one of the top contenders at 155lbs such as Tony Ferguson. Of course, it’s quite possible that Chandler could wind up fighting for the vacant title now that Nurmagomedov has retired and given up his belt.

Do you think Michael Chandler has what it takes to win the UFC lightweight title?