Michael Chandler Calls For LW Tourney, Following Khabib’s Retirement
Now that Khabib Nurmagomedov is retiring, Michael Chandler's calling for a lightweight tournanment to determine the next champ.
It will be interesting to see how the UFC goes about crowing a new lightweight champion. But, following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement announcement, Michael Chandler’s proposed the promotion put together a tournament to determine a new champ.
Chandler proposes lightweight championship tourney
Nurmagomedov took on Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 on Saturday, and likely dropped jaws throughout the MMA world, by choking out the rugged fighter. The fact Khabib scored a submission win wasn’t that surprising. But not many people likely predicted it would happen via a triangle-choke.
That wasn’t the only surprise Khabib had for fans, as afterward, the champ announced he’s retiring.
After the massive bout and news, Chandler spoke with BT Sport. While discussing his future, the former Bellator champ said this (quote via MMA Junkie).
“When a man says he’s going to go, he’s going to go – but here we are,” Chandler said. “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. …
I did mention Tony Ferguson’s name and we were talking about January, but now we’ve got Justin Gaethje in here talking about eight weeks from tonight wanting to fight for a title.
Let’s be honest: I’m the new guy. I’m not going to come in here and say, ‘Hey guys I deserve a title shot.’ I’d love my name to be thrown into the mix.”
“I’d love the opportunity to fight in a four-man tournament for that title,” Chandler said. “Conor, Poirier, myself, Ferguson.
There’s some names that need to be fighting for a title, so let’s make it happen.”
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) October 25, 2020
What will happen?
So, it’s going to be really interesting to see what the UFC does here.
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Recently the expectation has been that the Conor McGregor will fight Dustin Poirier on January 23rd. Will that fight proceed? Could the UFC put the belt on the line in that contest?
Since Dana White said McGregor had earned another title shot this past January, by defeating Donald Cerrone, it’s possible?
As far as timing, it would work well. It’s also worth noting that Poirier holds a win over Gaethje.
But…Gaethje won the interim belt in May by stopping Tony Ferguson and was ranked #1 heading in UFC 254. So could the UFC shift gears and have Conor fight Gaethje for the belt?
Or, will the UFC set up a tourney like Chandler’s proposing? Whereby, he fights Ferguson and then the winner of that bout meets the winner of McGregor – Poirier 2?