Michael Chandler Hopes to “Entice” Khabib Out of Retirement at UFC 257
Not only does Michael Chandler plan to take out Dan Hooker in impressive fashion, he's hoping to catch the attention of Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Michael Chandler has his Octagon debut booked, the former Bellator champ can begin his journey in what he hopes, concludes with hoisting the UFC’s lightweight title. In addition, Chandler is hoping to do so against the man who still, officially, holds the belt, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Chandler hopes to “entice” Khabib back with big win
Recently it was announced that Chandler will face Dan Hooker at UFC 257 this month, which will go down on January 23rd. As you likely know, that’s the same card that former lightweight champ Conor McGregor will battle former interim champ, Dustin Poirier.
Well, since news of the Chandler – Hooker booking materialized, the powerful wrestler spoke with MMA Fighting. While doing so, the 34-year-old shared out his plan and wish.
“I want to put a stamp on my introduction for who I am to the UFC fans by finishing Dan Hooker or dominating him,” Chandler said.
“It really puts me in a position to where maybe I get the winner of Conor-Poirier or I get the next title shot against Khabib.
“I think if I go out there and showcase my wrestling skills, too. I mean there’s no doubt I want to go out there and knock Dan Hooker out, but I also want to show the world my wrestling skills.
I want to put a stamp on good old fashioned American wrestling.
Maybe I can entice Khabib to come back for the U.S. American wrestling versus Russian Sambo and see if he can get to 30-0 and beat me — if he can.”
It’s an interesting and respectable plan, no question. But, you have to wonder if Khabib would be more interested in ending his retirement for a fight with Chandler, if he goes on to defeat another top contender, like Poirier or McGregor.
At the end of the day, Chandler’s probably not a mainstream household name, yet (not in circles of fans who only watch the UFC). Whereas, the legend, Georges St-Pierre is.
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But, you never know. If McGregor loses to Poirier for example, and Chandler records an impressive win, maybe Khabib will decide to test his skills against the former Bellator champ.
Chandler comments on the importance of fighting at UFC 257
A few weeks ago, a fight between Chandler and Hooker wasn’t really on people’s radars, since Hooker is ranked #6. But, the way things played out, with Tony Ferguson losing to Charles Oliveira last month, Chandler – Hooker made sense.
Especially since now there are two, pivotal lightweight fights booked for UFC 257 (the other being Poirier – McGregor 2).
“You want to be on that card,” Chandler said. “Plus the UFC wants another 155-pound fighter on that card in case there is an injury, in case there is a positive COVID test.
Who knows what’s going to happen. In the era of the coronavirus, it’s always good to have the main event have a backup fight, if you will, and I could get tapped for that.
But for now my focus is on Dan Hooker and getting my first UFC win inside the octagon.”
The card definitely got deeper with the addition of Chandler – Hooker. It’s going to be a very interesting night.
UFC 257 will be hosted by Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.