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"It'd be sad if Chandler won" - Khabib Nurmagomedov was glad to see Charles Oliveira succeed him at UFC 262

Khabib Nurmagomedov (left); Michael Chandler (center); Charles Oliveira (right)
Khabib Nurmagomedov (left); Michael Chandler (center); Charles Oliveira (right)
Johny Payne

Khabib Nurmagomedov has suggested that he was glad to see Charles Oliveira, and not Michael Chandler, succeed him as the UFC lightweight champion.

Longtime UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from the sport of MMA after his win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October 2020. Dana White and the UFC came to terms with Nurmagomedov's retirement in March 2021, and the organization subsequently booked a fight for the vacant UFC lightweight title.

Top-tier lightweights Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler were roped in to fight for the vacant UFC lightweight title at UFC 262. The fight headlined UFC 262 on May 15th, 2021. Oliveira defeated Chandler via second-round TKO and became the new UFC lightweight champion.

Khabib Nurmagomedov recently partook in a media scrum and addressed multiple topics. One of the issues‘ The Eagle’ shed light upon was the new undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira.

Upon being asked what he thinks about newly-crowned UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira and whether 'Do Brox' will be as dominant as 'The Eagle', Khabib Nurmagomedov stated:

“He deserves to be a lightweight champion. What does he have, 8 wins in a row? And 7 of those 8 were finishes. Only the (Tony) Ferguson fight went to decision. I think he deserves the belt; so many finishes and UFC records. It’d be sad if (Michael) Chandler won. If he became champion after 2 UFC fights, it wouldn’t be right. Oliveira improved a lot, and he deserves to be champion. I’m really happy for him because when anyone reaches success, you have to respect that. I think he deserves to be champion.” (*Video and translation courtesy: RT Sport MMA)

Khabib Nurmagomedov opined that Michael Chandler winning the UFC lightweight title after just two fights in the organization wouldn’t have been right. Meanwhile, Nurmagomedov reiterated his respect for Charles Oliveira, a UFC mainstay who has competed in the organization for more than a decade.

With Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from MMA, Charles Oliveira is likely to defend his title against Dustin Poirier or Conor McGregor

Dustin Poirier (left); Conor McGregor (right)
Dustin Poirier (left); Conor McGregor (right)

Khabib Nurmagomedov has consistently maintained that he doesn’t intend to return to professional MMA competition ever again. Considering that, as well as the rest of the current landscape in the UFC lightweight division, the belief is that either Dustin Poirier or Conor McGregor could fight for the UFC lightweight title next.

Poirier and McGregor are set to clash in their trilogy fight at UFC 264 on July 10th, 2021. The winner of this bout is expected to fight UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira for the title later this year.


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Edited by Avinash Tewari

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