Michael Chandler Says Its “Crazy” That Oliveira Is The Underdog Against Makhachev At UFC 280

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Michael Chandler is finding it hard to believe that his former opponent Charles Oliveira is heading into the UFC Lightweight title fight against Makhachev at UFC 280 as an underdog.

Charles has the upper hand: Michael Chandler

Chandler was Oliveira’s opponent at UFC 262 in May of last year and ended up knocked out in the fight for the UFC lightweight championship.

Speaking about ‘do Bronx’s upcoming 155-pound title fight, which will take place at UFC 280 on 22nd October in Abu Dhabi, Chandler said that he disagrees with Makhachev being the favourite against Oliveira for the championship bout.

“Charles has the upper hand, in my opinion,” Chandler said in an interview with MMA Junkie, “I think it’s crazy that he’s an underdog, but I do think Islam has the tools to be able to win. So we’ll see what happens on Oct. 22. I’ll be watching that very intensely, and I hope to face the winner.”

The former three time Bellator Lightweight champ also pointed out that Makhachev’s partnership with Khabib Nurmagomedov may be one of the factors behind the great hype surrounding the Russian fighter.

“You definitely can’t say that Islam is unproven,” Chandler went on, “but you definitely can say – I think there’s a certain mystique, there’s this certain correlation that we want to make between Khabib (Nurmagomedov) and Islam, and then you have (coach) Javier Mendez coming out and saying that Islam is better than Khabib. You’ve got Khabib saying that Islam is better than Khabib. You’ve got this big hype machine coming up.”

Slated to take on Dustin Poirier at UFC 281 next month, Chandler also said that he expects to earn a shot at the title in case he wins, but doesn’t specify who would be his ideal adversary to face in a second opportunity for the belt.

“For me, who would I rather face? I think it’s 50-50. I think if it’s Charles, I would love to be able to get the rematch. I think I was so close to winning the title against Charles. I think that we have tape on each other. We have highlight reels of each other fighting each other. Both of us had our highs and lows in that fight. And I also would love to, if Islam does beat Charles, I would love to be the guy that stops the hype train of Islam if he does win,” added Chandler.

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