Michael Chandler thinks that Khabib Nurmagomedov's win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 was one of the greatest sporting achievements ever. The 34-year-old Lightweight emphasized the fact of Nurmagomedov beating Gaetjhe when his father had just passed away, was indeed a huge accomplishment.
Chandler, who is set to fight Dan Hooker at UFC 254 on January 23, signed with UFC in September last year. The former Bellator Lightweight champion will be looking forward to starting his UFC career on a high with a win over his No.6 ranked opponent.
Reflecting on Nurmagomedov's last fight against Gaethje while speaking to ESPN's Brett Okamoto, Chandler said that the Russian fighter's win was one of the highlights of his MMA viewing career.
"For him (Khabib Nurmagomedov) to be able to push those emotions aside, continue to train, move forward and go out there and and beat the number one lightweight in the world right behind him, finish him in the second round, choke him unconscious was absolutely one of the one of the greatest sporting feats I've ever seen in my entire life... That night was really cool and it was awesome to be able to to experience it, and definitely one of the highlights of my, I think mixed martial arts viewing career if you will," said Michael Chandler.
"Watching that fight, watching the way that he devastatingly put away Justin Gaethje in the manner that he did it, and then immediately rolled off. went to the middle of the octagon started diaphragmatic sobbing... It was almost as if this weight was being lifted off of his spirit out of his soul through that UFC octagon," Michael Chandler told ESPN.
Nurmagomedov defeated Gaethje via submission in the second round and immediately announced his retirement after the fight. Although Nurmagomedov's future in UFC remains unclear, Chandler wants 'The Eagle' to make his return to the octagon.
Michael Chandler thinks Khabib Nurmagomedov is semi-retired
Michael Chandler also added that Khabib Nurmagomedov is semi-retired since we don't have complete knowledge of his present status in UFC. Chandler, however, further stated that he wishes to see The Eagle fight again.
"I said semi-retired because we don't quite know. You got Dana (White) saying "I think there's a small chance I can convince him to come back" and of course, Dana wants him to come back because Khabib is a legend, he's a superstar, he is one of the lifebloods of UFC and we all, myself included, we all want to see him fight again," said Michael Chandler.
Nurmagomedov had officially retired following his win over Justin Gaethje, but the UFC legend recently said that he may come out of retirement if his mother gives him her blessings.Published 05 Jan 2021, 12:27 IST