Michael Chandler has responded to Islam Makhachev’s callout after the Dagestani native beat Thiago Moises in the main event of UFC Vegas 31.
Makhachev earned a fourth-round submission in a very good win for him. After the fight, he called out several fighters including Chandler, who was working the desk for that event.
“I see here Michael Chandler, why not? Let’s go Chandler,” Makhachev said backstage at UFC Vegas 31. “You come for easy fight in the UFC? No, you come from Bellator, we want to give you a hard time. Let’s do this. Chandler, if you hear me, let’s do this. You come from Bellator, I want to check your skills.”
Due to Chandler working the desk, he was immediately asked for a response and he said he understood the callout. However, he isn’t sure that will be next but he is open to the fight.
“Slick little call out right there,” Chandler said when answering Makhachev on the UFC Vegas 31 post-fight show (via MMAFighting). “He did what he said he was going to do tonight and he did what he needed to do tonight, which was go out there and put a big stamp on his performance. Now he’s doing what he needs to do as well. He’s sitting at No. 9, he wants to say as many names as he possibly can. Slick little call out. The man impressed tonight. I’ve got to take my fighter hat off, be the analyst tonight, he did a phenomenal job against a very tough man. Kid’s got a bright future, we’ll see what happens.”
If Makhachev and Chandler do end up fighting, the former Bellator champ is confident he will get his hand raised. He believes wrestling will beat Makhachev’s sambo and he’s unsure if the Dagestani native can keep that pace up for five rounds.
Yet, whether or not Makhachev and Chandler will even fight next is to be seen.
“I’m a homer when it comes to wrestling,” Chandler explained. I think wrestling beats everything. I think wrestling beats judo, [Brazilian jiu-jitsu], I think it beats sambo but that’s just me being a homer. But what Islam Makhachev does is he gets you to these positions and he puts you in a position where you can’t really move. Thiago Moises has phenomenal chain grappling. We’ve seen him go all over the place, up, down, do flips, roll, sweep. He wasn’t able to do a lot of those things. The thing that Islam does best is he neutralizes guys. When you neutralize a guy, it’s not just physical. It’s mental. It’s emotional. It’s cardio. He sucks the life out of guys.
“Can he push the pace for that long? He showed tonight he can get a finish later in the rounds. I think wrestling beats sambo. I think wrestling beats every other ground martial art. Maybe someday we’ll see,” Chandler concluded.