Michael Chandler Claims He’s Been Offered Islam Makhachev Title Fight

Michael Chandler has claimed that he’s been handed a golden opportunity to fight for the lightweight title against Islam Makhachev later this year, but it seems he’s still holding out hope of fighting Conor McGregor instead.

“I’ve been offered @MAKHACHEVMMA in October – but if @TheNotoriousMMA little pinky toe is ready by Sept, let’s do sphere,” Chandler wrote on X. “Biggest sporting event in history of sports. @RiyadhSeason #ufc306.”

If it’s true then the UFC are being pretty generous to Chandler here as he’s currently ranked No.6 in the division and is coming off a submission loss to Dustin Poirier back in November of 2022 – his third defeat in his last four UFC outings.

Chandler’s profile has never been higher though due to being linked to McGregor over the past couple of years, and on top of that it seems that the UFC brass sympathize with the position he finds himself in at the moment, having waited around on the sidelines for so long waiting on what would be a life-changing payday for that particular match-up.

Chandler still believes there’s a good chance that McGregor will return in time for The Sphere event in Las Vegas in September though, but it should be ringing some alarm bells in his head that the UFC are trying to offer him a different fight a month later, suggesting that they are less than convinced that McGregor’s comeback is going to happen any time soon.

And that ties in with a comment from Dana White during a Barstool Sports interview last week in which his response to the question of whether McGregor would return in either August, September or October was, “none of the above.”

Chandler appears to be stuck between a rock and a hard place though, as while getting a UFC title shot is also a huge opportunity for him, the reality is that it’s something of a poisoned chalice given that it would be far less lucrative, the dominant champion would be a massive favorite in the match-up, and a loss there could well kill off his chances of fighting McGregor.

Still, judging by his latest social media posts it does seem like the 38-year-old might be warming up to the idea of taking on Makhachev.

“Good old fashioned passionate American @MizzouWrestling beats sambo all day. @MAKHACHEVMMA,” Chandler wrote 10 hours ago.

And four hours later he was talking up his chances again.

“I don’t get taken down in the open, I don’t get taken down on the cage…I don’t get taken down, period. #andNEW.”

“Why not… @MAKHACHEVMMA,” he added.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.