Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler is happy to step in and fight Islam Makhachev for the vacant UFC lightweight title if Charles Oliveira wants to ‘sit out’ and wait for Conor McGregor.
Chandler, who was knocked out by Oliveira in 2021, thinks the Brazilian has more than earned his proposed ‘money fight’ with McGregor and understands why ‘Do Bronx’ is reluctant to enter fight negotiations with Makhachev.
That’s why ‘Iron Mike’ has advised Oliveira to ‘wait till Conor comes back’ so he can take care of business against Makhachev.
“Hey, Charles, do your thing, bro. Wait till Conor comes back, do your thing, you deserve it,” Chandler said via Instagram (h/t BJPenn.com). “On a couple fight win streak, smashing through everybody,” Chandler said on his Instagram story. “Why don’t you sit out? Wait for Conor to come back, I’ll keep the division warm, I’ll keep the division going. I’ll fight Islam next, I’ll fight Islam next for the title. And then whenever you get your so-called superfight, do your thing, get it out of your system, then you can come back to our division. See you at the top.”
Islam Makhachev vs Michael Chandler for the vacant lightweight title in Abu Dhabi october 22nd sounds like a great idea. Charles Oliveira can go chase that money fight with Conor for however long he wants. He doesn’t have to hold up the rest of the division. #ufc276 #ufc pic.twitter.com/0JaXYQZ5FX— Elbows Chateau (@ElbowsChateau) July 6, 2022
Oliveira was stripped of the lightweight title after missing weight ahead of his first-round stoppage victory over Justin Gaethje this past May. He has been guaranteed the next title shot but appears unhappy about the prospect of facing Makhachev in Abu Dhabi, opting to fight in Brazil instead. If that doesn’t happen, Oliveira would like to fight Mcgregor, although he is unlikely to sit out for the remainder of the year.
As for Chandler, the 36-year-old is itching to get back in the Octagon following his highlight-reel knockout of Tony Ferguson at UFC 274, where he face-planted ‘El Cucuy’ with a thunderous front kick to the face. He is currently #5 in the UFC lightweight rankings, and likely one more win away from a title shot.