A few months ago, former Bellator MMA Lightweight champion Michael Chandler declared himself to be the man to hand current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 155-pound king, Khabib Nurmagomedov, his first loss.
While the statement was well received even by Russian fans, according to Chandler, there were just as many who scoffed at the notion, especially since Michael was making the statement after inking a contract extension to remain with Bellator.
Still, Chandler didn’t sign a lifetime deal with the Viacom-owned promotion, and says even if he never fights for UFC, Khabib could still very well make the jump over.
“Let’s keep this in perspective,” Chandler said in an interview with MMA Junkie. “Yes, I did sign with Bellator, but it was not a lifetime deal. It wasn’t a 10-fight deal. It wasn’t even an eight-fight deal. It will not carry me to the end of my career. There will be more contracts being signed,” he added.
“I am still a young fighter. I’m 32, but I feel like I’m 22. So therefore, I can’t imagine declining in skill to where there’s not going to be great opportunities for some ridiculously good matchups. Not to mention, Khabib is getting offered $2 million by 50 Cent, not to mention the fact that Bellator’s roster is ever-evolving.”
50 Cent, the gangster rapper who now has a stake with Bellator MMA, did indeed offer “The Eagle” a $2 million payday to jump ship. Despite interest on Khabib’s side, Dana White recently declared “The Eagle” would be staying put. Still, Chandler says anything can happen at the drop of a hat.
“To think it’s out of the realm of possibility that Khabib is going to be a Bellator fighter in the next year-and-a-half to two years at only 30 years old, you’re a little bit ignorant to think there can’t be some switching of these rosters in the very near future,” Chandler said concluded.
Until then, Khabib and Chandler will be taking out the competition in separate organizations, as Michael is currently lined up to rematch Brent Primus at Bellator 212 on December 14, 2018, while Khabib has to face off against Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) before he resumes his combat career.
And he already has his eyes set on a former champion for his return bout.