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Michael Chandler announces start of UFC fight camp soon...so who is he fighting?

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UFC 254: Khabib v Gaethje Weigh-in Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Michael Chandler signed with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) this past September, but the former Bellator MMA Lightweight champion has yet to lock down a fight for his Octagon debut.

But it could be coming soon, as the hard-hitting Lightweight posted a cryptic message on social media stating that he is set to begin his fight camp this coming Monday (Nov. 29, 2020), though no foe was named.

He did make the trip to “Fight Island” to serve as a backup for the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje fight, but both men were able to make the walk down to the cage at UFC 254 with no issues. The promotion was looking to book Chandler against Tony Ferguson for that same event, but those plans fizzled out.

Ferguson then tried to sway Chandler to face him at UFC 256 on Dec. 12, 2020, only this time around it was the ex-Bellator star who rejected the offer by saying that “El Cucuy” had lost his opportunity. Ferguson will face Charles Oliveira at UFC 256, while Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor are set to run it back at the upcoming UFC 257 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Jan. 23, 2021.

That leaves a few options for Chandler, including No. 6 ranked Rafael dos Anjos, who just defeated Paul Felder a few weeks ago, as well as Dan Hooker (No. 5), who hasn’t competed since his war against Poirier earlier this year.

But the most logical option is a showdown against Justin Gaethje, the No. 1 ranked fighter in the division. While “Highlight” is coming off a loss, it was a title fight against Nurmagomedov, and the setback didn’t do anything to his spot at the top. Both men have a great wrestling pedigree and both can stand-and-bang with the best of them. And with everyone else being booked already, this seems like the logical choice.

But if we really want to throw a wild card in there, could Chandler be Khabib Nurmagomedov’s last fight? Yes, Khabib has been adamant he is retired from the fight game, though Dana White is confident he’ll return for one more. But if we take a closer look, “The Eagle” just sent out a tweet yesterday directed at White that read, wait for it, “see you soon,” similar to Chandler’s.

Could it be?