“Not even close” – Michael Chandler feels Islam Makhachev is not on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s level


Michael Chandler was recently asked about Islam Makhachev being on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s level

Islam Makhachev has taken the lightweight division by storm. The Russian is currently on a nine-fight winning streak, and his recent dominant first-round submission (Kimura) win over Dan Hooker reasserted his stake as a future title winner.

Numerous comparisons between Makhachev and his predecessor Khabib Nurmagomedov have been drawn, especially after ‘The Eagle’ announced his retirement from the sport in October 2020.

Islam Makhachev UFC 267
Islam Makhachev and team following his win at UFC 267

During the recent media day, ahead of UFC 268, fellow top-ranked lightweight Michael Chandler weighed in on Makhachev being on Khabib’s level.

While he did acknowledge the similarities between the two, Chandler felt that Makhachev was nowhere close to Khabib’s level.

He was quoted as saying:

“No, not even close. I mean…Are they similar? Absolutely. Are they brothers and teammates? Yes, absolutely. But, what Khabib has accomplished…It wasn’t Khabib’s skillset, it was the mystique that surrounded Khabib’s accomplishments inside the sport. Undefeated, making every super human guy look like a mere mortal…When you start comparing those two, he isn’t there yet.”

Khabib retired with a record of 29 wins and 0 losses. He hardly even lost a round in his MMA career.

Makhachev, on the other hand, has a record of 21 wins and 1 loss.

Michael Chandler vs Justin Gaethje will open UFC 268 main card

UFC 268 is only a couple of days away.

The stacked event is headlined by a welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington. Rose Namajunas will defend her strawweight belt against Zhang Weili.

Gaethje vs Chandler
Michael Chandler vs Justin Gaethje (MMA Junkie)

With coach Trevor Wittman (coach of Usman, Namajunas and Gaethje) being the busiest of the coaches that night, Chandler vs Gaethje which was supposed to take place before the Namajunas-Weili fight, will open the card for Wittman’s convenience.

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