Khabib Nurmagomedov to Michael Chandler: Go home, you don’t belong here

The UFC recently signed Michael Chandler, with exceptionally high expectations. A former Div I All American wrestler from the University of Missouri, Chandler began fighting in 2009. He went 12-0, beating Eddie Alvarez and Patricky Freire back to back to win and twice defend the Bellator belt, before losing it via Split Decision in a rematch vs. Alvarez. 

Chandler lost the next two fights to Will Brooks, but bounced back in 2015 with two wins, and the next year beat Patricky Freire in the rematch to again win the Bellator title, and successfully defend it via Split Decision vs. Benson Henderson. In his sole fight in 2017, Chandler lost the belt via leg injury to Brent Primus. But he again bounced back, winning two more before defeating Primus in the rematch, to claim the belt a third time.

Chandler lost the belt to Patrício Freire, bounced back with two more wins, most recently knocking out Benson Henderson in August. And then, a free agent, he signed with the UFC, after Bellator declined to match the offer.

Chandler is now on Fight Island, serving as a back up for the UFC 254 main event – should either lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov or interim champ Justin Geathje withdraw for any reason, Chandler is in. During a recent interview with TSN’s reporter Aaron Bronsteter, Nurmagomedov was not impressed.

“I don’t even need to use my wrestling against Michael Chandler,” said Khabib. “I know he came here to Abu Dhabi, but he’s going to come here, make weight and go home. Thank you Michael Chandler, go home and fight with some other fighters. He’s not high-level championship fighter in UFC. Two fights ago he lose in other organization, featherweight, he knock him out. He have to show the world he can fight for the title. Fight with someone from Top 5 in UFC and then we gonna talk about him.”

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