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Khabib Nurmagomedov talks about using "only standup" to beat Michael Chandler

Michael Chandler and Khabib Nurmagomedov are both outstanding grapplers
Michael Chandler and Khabib Nurmagomedov are both outstanding grapplers
Johny Payne
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 20 Oct 2020, 07:04 IST
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In an appearance on the Real Quick With Mike Swick Podcast, reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov opened up on a myriad of topics.

Nurmagomedov shed light on how he would approach a potential fight against Michael Chandler noting that his coach, Javier Mendez, has instructed him to fight the former Bellator fighter using “only standup”.

Khabib Nurmagomedov has utilized his grappling skills to great effect

Khabib Nurmagomedov is widely regarded as one of the greatest MMA fighters in the world, primarily lauded for his unparalleled grappling skills.

The Dagestani fighter has often been the recipient of a significant amount of criticism for what many perceive to be his rudimentary striking skills. However, he has been tremendously successful in utilizing his grappling in order to nullify the striking skills brought to the table by some of the world’s most elite fighters.

The Russian wrestling savant has dominated top-tier striking specialists such as Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Edson Barboza with his grappling.

In his upcoming UFC Lightweight Championship unification matchup at UFC 254 against Interim Lightweight titlist Justin Gaethje, Khabib Nurmagomedov faces yet another elite striker. However, the American fighter is a highly accomplished amateur wrestler as well.

Additionally, Dana White and Co. have roped in new signee Michael Chandler as the backup/replacement fighter for the aforementioned UFC 254 headlining bout.

Khabib Nurmagomedov suggests that he’d turn a potential matchup against Michael Chandler into a standup only fight

Speaking to Mike Swick, Khabib Nurmagomedov asserted that in order to be a true champion he always prepares to fight and defeat everyone. The UFC Lightweight Champion also said that if he does faceoff against Chandler, he would turn the bout against the former Bellator fighter into a standup only fight.

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Nurmagomedov stated:

“If something happens and Michael Chandler jumps in, OK. Welcome. No problem. But coach Javier says that if Michael Chandler’s gonna jump in, he wants that I fight only standup. He (Javier Mendez) says that I believe you can beat him (with) only standup.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

On the contrary, Nurmagomedov explained that his game plan against Gaethje would be much different as compared to one he would use against Chandler.

Khabib Nurmagomedov noted that Justin Gaethje is a very good striker, as proven in the interim UFC Lightweight Champion's win over Tony Ferguson. The Dagestani fighter reiterated that everyone’s well aware of the fact that he plans to implement a wrestling-heavy strategy in his fight against Gaethje.

Nurmagomedov proceeded to note that he’s rather unsure whether or not his coach Javier Mendez was serious about telling him to turn a potential fight against Michael Chandler into an exclusively standup/striking battle.

What are your views on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s statements regarding Michael Chandler? Sound off in the comments.

Published 20 Oct 2020, 07:04 IST
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