Michael Chandler said he was going to start calling the shots in the UFC, and that’s exactly what he did following his upset knockout win over Dan Hooker in the UFC 257 co-main event on Saturday.
The former three-time Bellator lightweight champion immediately took to the mic to call out Khabib Nurmagomedov in his post-fight interview, vowing to become the first man to defeat the undefeated Dagestani.
“Conor McGregor; surprise, surprise, there is a new king in the lightweight division,” an ecstatic Chandler screamed down the microphone following his celebratory back flip off the cage (h/t Joe Coleman of Talk Sport).
“Dustin Poirier, your time is coming and Khabib – if you ever do see fit to grace us with your presence in the UFC octagon in your quest for 30-, you have to beat somebody.
“So beat me, if you can! God bless, see you at the top.”
‘Iron’ Chandler was a little more measured at the post-fight press conference but is still adamant about breaking Khabib’s 29-fight win streak.
“You are right, none of these guys can hold a candle to you – what are you going to do, come back and rematch? It’s not going to happen because you don’t need to do that,” he told reporters following his first-round KO of Hooker.
“I promise you I can beat Khabib and I told him. He will become 29 and Chandler.”
Chandler is now on a three-fight KO streak and, as impressive as his performance was on Saturday, it wasn’t enough to change Nurmagomedov’s mind about retirement.
Khabib retired at 29-0 following his submission win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 and voluntarily relinquished his lightweight title. Despite this, however, Nurmagomedov is still listed in the UFC lightweight rankings and still considered the champ. ‘The Eagle’ has stated on numerous occasions that he will not be making a comeback despite White’s best efforts to convince him otherwise.