Islam Makhachev does not think Michael Chandler is deserving of a shot at the UFC lightweight championship as he has only competed once in the promotion.
Michael Chandler, who made his UFC debut in a bout against Dan Hooker at UFC 257 last January, joined the promotion after a successful run at Bellator, where he was a four-time lightweight champion.
Meanwhile, Makhachev is emerging in the 155 lb weight class with the special help of now-coach Khabib Nurmagomedov, the lightweight division's former king.
Speaking to RT Sport in a recent interview, Makhachev explained why he does not believe that Michael Chandler should be fighting for the title.
"Honestly, I think [Charles] Oliveira deserves it. He's got a good win streak, but I don't agree with [Michael] Chandler being in there. He had one UFC fight, and he hasn't been tested. That first fight ended very quickly. I think [Justin] Gaethje or Dustin Poirier could've been fighting for the title. But [the UFC] always have their own plans," Makhachev said.
Charles Oliveira versus Michael Chandler is set to take place on May 15. The bout will serve as the main event of UFC 262 and will decide the new lightweight champion.
What does Michael Chandler expect to face against Charles Oliveira?
Michael Chandler is well aware of the qualities of his next opponent, Charles Oliveira, who heads into the title fight with a winning streak of eight fights.
As good as Oliveira's qualities might be, 'Iron' believes that he knows the path to nullify them as he plans to make the Brazilian slowly crumble in the face of his sturdiness.
In an interview with MMA on Point in 2020, Michael Chandler explained exactly how he thought a fight against Oliveira would pan out.
"Weakness is still going to be his striking, as well as cardio and ability to make weight. I always look at the discipline and the character of the man. If you're a guy who misses weight on numerous times, you're also a guy who's gonna give up on yourself in a fight. So, That's what I would do. I would take him to the deep waters and make him give up on himself," Michael Chandler said.
Whoever gets the better at the end of UFC 262 will be the first new full-time lightweight champion since 2018, when Khabib Nurmagomedov started his reign.
Who do you think will become the next fighter to hold the 155 lb gold? Sound off in the comments.