While many people have been impressed by current lightweight title challenger Islam Makhachev’s ten-fight winning streak in the UFC, Michael Chandler doesn’t appear to be one of them.
“Nothing against Islam, you say he looks great, you say he looks unbeatable at times, but he hasn’t really fought anybody,” Chandler told MMAfighting. “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 goodWe just can’t say that he’s that good yet. It’s premature praise.”
Makhachev has since fired back at Chandler, casting shade on the former title challenger’s 2-2 record in the UFC so far.
“Haha., your only two win in UFC is Hooker who came out of loss, and Tony who has 5 losses in the row now,” Makhachev wrote on Twitter. “Please shut up and stay in line.”
Makhachev is currently lined up to fight Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight title at UFC 280 on October 22nd, and Chandler, who will fight Dustin Poirier at UFC 281, believes that it’s ‘Do Bronx’ 11-fight unbeaten run that will remain unbroken in that fight.
“I think Charles [Oliveira] 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.”