Michael Chandler has reversed his previous assessment of Islam Makhachev, the current UFC lightweight champion.
Before Makhachev won the UFC 280 championship, his opponent Chandler (23-7 MMA, 2-2 UFC) questioned Makhachev’s record, saying he wasn’t even close to his master Khabib Nurmagomedov. Chandler previously had low opinions about Makhachev (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC), but that all changed after Makhachev dominated and ended Charles Oliveira to win gold.
“Islam is the real deal,” Chandler said in an interview.
“I think when I was asked before about it, my answer, I stand behind it. Islam hadn’t fought anybody in that top five and not necessarily just that, but it was the fact that Charles had looked so dominant, as well … Charles ran through, what, four guys? He fought me then he beat Poirier and beat Gaethje.
“You’re talking the who’s who of the top three, top five guys and the impressiveness in the nature in which he was finishing guys, he just looked awesome. Islam came out there and showed that he was a force to be reckoned with on the feet, obviously a force to be reckoned with on the ground, and caught Charles in that choke, and we have a new champion, and his name is Islam.”
“Islam proved that he was who he said he was,” Chandler said. “I stand corrected. He’s our champion, and I hope I can go out there on November 12th, can win my fight, and get that title shot soon.”