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Michael Chandler suggests lightweight tournament to determine new champion following Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement

Michael Chandler
Michael Chandler
Anurag Mitra
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 26 Oct 2020, 14:41 IST
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Newly-signed lightweight Michael Chandler has suggested an interesting four-person tournament to determine the new UFC lightweight champion following Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement at UFC 254.

Despite never having stepped inside the Octagon, Michael Chandler was quite controversially named the backup fighter for the UFC 254 main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje. However, since both Gaethje and Nurmagomedov made weight and didn't suffer any freak injuries, Michael Chandler's services weren't required in this past weekend's blockbuster pay-per-view at the Yas Islands in Abu Dhabi.

In the main event of UFC 254, Khabib Nurmagomedov put up an absolutely dominant performance to put away Justin Gaethje via a second-round triangle choke submission, successfully defending his lightweight strap for the third time in a row.

Following the fight, the undefeated and undisputed champion shocked the MMA community by announcing his retirement and leaving the 155 lbs division wide open.

There are rumors surrounding a January 2021 showdown between former two-division champion Conor McGregor and former interim champ Justin Gaethje. Although McGregor initially wanted to fight Poirier at welterweight, Nurmagomedov's retirement and the vacant lightweight title could force him to reconsider that and possibly fight at lightweight instead.

Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson are also rumored to fight soon, and the winner of that fight will inevitably find himself in the title picture at 155lbs.

Michael Chandler pitches a lightweight tournament to crown the new champ

Well, Michael Chandler has an idea about what the UFC could do to crown a new champion. Chandler wants the promotion to book a four-man lightweight tournament with McGregor, Poirier, Ferguson, and himself to determine the new champ.

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“I’m excited to be a part of the UFC lightweight division right now at the top when there is no UFC lightweight champion. So we’ll see what happens next. Conor, Poirier, myself, Ferguson, you know, there’s some names that need to be fighting for a title, so let’s make it happen.”

When asked about what he plans to do with the vacant lightweight title, UFC President Dana White said he hasn't pondered over it yet and will decide what to do following his return to the United States after the promotion's second successful trip to the Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

Published 26 Oct 2020, 14:41 IST
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