Michael Chandler: “We just can’t say that Islam Makhachev is that good yet"

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Michael Chandler: “We just can’t say that Islam Makhachev is that good yet"

Michael Chandler is not particularly impressed with Islam Makhachev and his results. "Nothing against Islam, you say he looks great, you say he looks unbeatable at times, but he hasn’t really fought anybody,” Chandler told MMA Fighting.

“That’s really the truth. He beat No. 14 and then he beat Dan Hooker, who was on a three or four-fight losing streak. “Now people will say, ‘well, one of your wins was against Dan Hooker, what are you talking about?’ I fought Dan Hooker at a different time.

He had just gone 25 minutes with Dustin Poirier, who at that time was the No. 2 lightweight on the entire planet”. “I’m not saying that [Islam] not that good,” Chandler said. “We just can’t say that he’s that good yet.

It’s premature praise”.

Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira

Chandler was unlucky in the match against Oliveira and it seems that he misjudged his opponent, but also it seems that he underestimated him. “I was that guy,” Chandler explained.

“You remember the buildup to my fight with Charles, I truly believed he was going to quit. We’d seen it in the past. We’d seen that he wasn’t that tough. We had seen that he had a tendency to find a way out in fights.

He has proven time and time again, both against me and [Dustin] Poirier and [Justin] Gaethje, he was in a fire in those fights and came back and won every single one of them. “He has shown his toughness. He has shown his gall.

He has shown his continued improvement in his striking, which, obviously, he’s probably the best grappler in the UFC right now today, for sure. He’s become a very effective, basic, long, rangy kickboxer. He’s done very, very well with it.

He manages distance very well. If he does get hurt, he can just pull guard, which you saw that in the Gaethje fight and the Poirier fight —— he gets hit, he just falls to his back. It’s actually a very, very great technique because nobody is going to jump into his guard”.

Chandler had only words of praise for the Brazilian and believes that he will be the winner in the match against Makhachev. “I think Charles is just too slick, too good, and he’s going to give him fits on the feet,” Chandler said.

“I don’t think it will be hard to take Charles down, but I think Charles wins the grappling exchanges. “To make Islam the favorite in that fight is somewhat crazy, I think. Maybe that’s me sticking up for Charles, because watching Charles, seeing what he’s done resurrecting his career, somewhat of a ‘couldn’t be relied on, up-and-down, win some, lose some, journeyman’ to now a very dominant champion on a win streak — he’s definitely one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. I think he goes out there and gets the job done”.