Michael Chandler might not make his debut at UFC 254, but claims if he gets the call-up, he is ready to step in as a substitute for either Khabib Nurmagomedov Or Justin Gaethje.
This past week Michael Chandler finally agreed terms with UFC, and became the new entry in the precarious Lightweight division. The 34-year-old was initially speculated to face Dustin Poirier or Tony Ferguson in the co-main of UFC 254, but later had to settle with becoming a backup fighter for the coveted Khabib Vs. Gaethje fight. Though Chandler will eventually make his debut, but for him to enter the ring at 254, something unfortunate will have to happen with the headliner fight, which nobody would want. However, if it comes down to it The “Iron” man claims he is ready, and knows what to do, and even has a game plan ready for both individuals.
Michael Chandler Projects The Outcome
Recently via an Instagram live session, Michael Chandler answered queries of fans, where the topic was evidently thrown light upon, and Chandler addressed the matter by showing his eagerness to enter the arena again. The three-time Bellator Lightweight champion laid out his strategy for the division’s top players, and is apparently not intimidated by them and from the unique prowess they possess.
His Opinion On Khabib Nurmagomedov
Chandler said, “I think I’m the better wrestler than he is. That’s not to disrespect his wrestling. I think he has shown to be the most dominant wrestler in mixed martial arts, the most dominant wrestler in the world. What he does to guys, he comes forward with reckless abandon, pushes you against the cage, picks you up, put you down and puts you in the Dagestani handcuff. Full mount, side guard, crucifix, half guard or in your guard – the guy is dangerous everywhere. … I will say, he’s never, to my knowledge, fought a Division-I, high-level Division 1 wrestler. I don’t think he’s fought anybody who is a Division-I wrestling All-American. There’s just a different breed out there.”
Gameplan Against Khabib Nurmagomedov
“The game plan against Khabib – he’s not going to take me down I don’t think. If he takes me down, he’s not going to hold me down. I’m going to be able to take him down unlike everybody else who has been up to fight him. As we saw in the Khabib versus Al Iaquinta fight, when he can’t take you down he starts to resort to a little bit of sporadicism, a little bit of – he gets off his game. A little bit of seeds of doubt get planted in his head because he knows he doesn’t have great striking, he knows his ability to win the fight is predicated on him being able to get in your face, to put you up against the cage and pick you up and hold you down.
“That’s the game plan: Don’t get taken down. But that’s everybody’s game plan. So I’m going to sit here and say I won’t get taken down. You guys won’t be able to see it until possibly Oct. 24, or somewhere down the line. Because I will be fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov for the title in the near future. Get ready for it.”
His Opinion On Justin Gaethje
Though it looks like Michael Chandler preferably wants to face the eagle straightway, but he did not quashed the idea of going up against Gaethje as well. He thinks, somewhere down the line, this contest can also take place. However, god forbid if the encounter gets the early date, and that too October 24, then also he mentioned he has a plan ready, and at the back of his mind wants to implement it soon.
“I think Justin Gaethje looked like the best lightweight on the entire planet on the night he fought Tony Ferguson in May. He was calm, he was composed, he was sharp, he was throwing combinations to try to take Tony’s head off, but he never got overzealous. Got dropped in the second round, went back to the corner, came back and still stayed composed. He fought like the best lightweight on the entire planet on that night.”
Gameplan Against Justin Gaethje
“So the game plan would be, keep my hands up, keep my chin tucked and get into a fist fight with him. I think I can match his cardio, I can go step for step.
“I think I have more power than he does, I could string together the wrestling and the grappling and the striking better than he can, and it will be the best fight possibly in UFC history when me and Justin Gaethje step into the cage, and we will step into the cage. Don’t know if it’s going to be for an interim title, I don’t know if it’s going to be for a No. 1 contender spot, I don’t know if it’s just going to be a main event on ESPN at some point down the road. I don’t know when it’s going to be.”
(Source- MMA Junkie)
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