Michael Chandler lost his fight against Dustin Poirier, tapping to a third-round rear-naked choke as part of the UFC 281 pay-per-view (PPV) event last Nov. in New York City. Falling to “The Diamond” booted “Iron” from the 155-pound title chase, but also put him in line to score the biggest fight — and biggest payday — of his professional career.
That was by design, according to lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.
“These are both so smart guys,” Makhachev told BT Sport. “Conor chose Chandler. Chandler lost on purpose because if he beat a couple of guys it was never going to happen, versus McGregor. Of course, of course [he lost on purpose]. He fights like crazy, like he comes from the streets. That’s why they make the fight.”
Chandler and McGregor are currently filming The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 31 and will collide atop a UFC PPV card later this year, though promotion president Dana White cautions there are still several hurdles to clear before the bout becomes official. As for Makhachev, he’s expected to make his Octagon return atop the UFC 294 card in October.
“He does not deserve, if he beats Chandler or some of the guys,” Makhachev said. “But if UFC want, why not? Make some good money. Let’s go.”
The winner of this fight may have something to say about that.