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Michael Chandler reveals his strategies for Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje

Michael Chandler aims to rise to the top of the UFC Lightweight food chain
Michael Chandler aims to rise to the top of the UFC Lightweight food chain
Johny Payne
Modified 23 Sep 2020, 18:30 IST

Michael Chandler is widely regarded as one of the best Lightweight MMA fighters in the world today.

Chandler is a former Bellator Lightweight Champion and is coming off a pair of emphatic KO victories over Sidney Outlaw and former UFC Lightweight Champion, Benson Henderson.

The UFC has confirmed that Chandler will indeed serve as backup for the upcoming UFC 254 Lightweight Championship unification fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.

Michael Chandler believes he can defeat both Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje

During a recent Instagram Live Q&A, Michael Chandler opened up on the strategies he’d likely utilize against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje respectively.

Chandler asserted that he thinks he’s a better wrestler than Nurmagomedov.

The former Bellator fighter added, however, that this isn’t a slight at the Dagestani fighter– noting that Nurmagomedov has time and again proven to be the most dominant wrestler in MMA.

Additionally, he insinuated that although Nurmagomedov’s Dagestani style of wrestling has worked incredibly well for the latter, he’s never faced a true NCAA Division I All-American wrestler like Chandler.

Chandler cited Nurmagomedov’s fight against Al Iaquinta and highlighted that whenever Nurmagomedov fails to take his opponent down he’s thrown off his game.

Michael Chandler claims that this is due to Nurmagomedov being well aware that he doesn’t have great striking skills.


Furthermore, Chandler opened up a potential fight with Justin Gaethje and praised the latter, opining that he looked like the best Lightweight in the world in his fight against Tony Ferguson.

Chandler emphasized that although Gaethje got dropped in the second round, he stayed calm, recovered and came back strong to finish Ferguson via TKO in the fifth and final round.

Michael Chandler explained that his strategy against Gaethje would be to keep his hands up, his chin tucked, and get into a fistfight with the latter.

Moreover, Chandler added that he has more power than Gaethje does.

Chandler continued that he can combine his wrestling, overall grappling and striking together to defeat Gaethje. He stated –

“It will be the best fight possibly in UFC history when me and Justin Gaethje step into the cage.” (*H/T MMA Junkie)

Will Michael Chandler make his UFC debut at UFC 254?

Reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will face Interim UFC Lightweight titlist Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 that’s scheduled to take place at the Flash Forum in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on October 25th, 2020.

In case either Nurmagomedov or Gaethje withdraws from the fight, for whatsoever reason, Chandler will step in as the replacement for the UFC 254 main event matchup.

Do you believe Michael Chandler can beat Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje? Sound off in the comments.

Published 22 Sep 2020, 05:47 IST
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