- Islam Makhachev earned a fourth-round submission over Thiago Moises last weekend.
- Michael Chandler has not fought since his title loss to Charles Olivera in May.
- A growing number of fans are now calling to see Chandler vs. Makhachev happen in 2021.
The UFC’s lightweight division continues to get more exciting every single month. Over the weekend, rising star Islam Makhachev put on a dominant performance against the underrated Thiago Moises. After the win, he issued a public challenge to former Bellator champion, Micheal Chandler. Many fans now believe that Chandler vs. Makhachev is the best fight to make at 155 pounds.
Both of these fighters are hungry to earn a crack at the lightweight title. A win for either man would likely earn them that championship opportunity. Now is a great time to talk about what exactly is happening in this weight division.
Let’s get into it!
Islam Makhachev Remains One of the Brightest Prospects in the UFC
Between 2012 and 2020, Khabib Nurmagomedov was one of the most dominant forces in the UFC’s lightweight division. Using a combination of elite grappling with slick boxing technique, he became the champion at 155 pounds and retired from fighting with a perfect 29-0 record. In the background of Khabib’s success was the rising star, Islam Makhachev.
Khabib’s retirement seems to have given Islam permission to seek glory of his own. The 29-year-old has been steadily rising up the rankings at lightweight. This past weekend, he had one of the best performances of his career against Thiago Moises.
The majority of online sports betting sites listed Islam as the favorite leading into fight night. Some, however, believed that Thiago’s grappling game would surprise the Dagestan-based fighter. That simply wasn’t the case on fight night.
Makhachev pushed the pace early and managed to control Moises on the mat throughout their bout. In the fourth round, he took his opponent’s back and landed an impressive rear-naked choke. Islam is now riding an incredible eight-fight win streak and appears to be one of the brightest prospects in the UFC.
Makhachev called out several fellow top lightweights after his win over Moises this weekend. He is not short on confidence and appears ready for the biggest tests at 155 pounds. That includes a possible fight against former title challenger Micheal Chandler.
Michael hasn’t stepped foot inside the Octagon since his defeat to Charles Oliveira back in May. Is Islam the perfect next fight for Chandler to earn another title opportunity?
More Fans Call to See Chandler vs. Makhachev in 2021
There is no more denying the talent and skill is Islam Makhachev. He continues to prove he is one of the biggest threats to the title right now. In fact, many analysts have him favored in hypothetical fights with most of the top contenders in the lightweight division.
Michael Chandler made his UFC debut back in January after a lengthy tenure with Bellator MMA. He took on Dan Hooker and managed to score an incredible first-round knockout. The UFC then threw Chandler into a title fight against Charles Oliviera this past May.
In the first round, Michael rocked Oliveira and appeared on the way to earning the title. In the second, however, Charles landed a combination that knocked the former Bellator champion out. Chandler has remained on the sidelines since that defeat.
A growing number of fans are now calling to see Chandler vs. Oliveira taking place in 2021. Micheal spoke about the possibility of this bout coming together while serving as an analyst for the event. He was quick to praise Makhachev, yet stopped short of accepting his challenge.
“Slick little call out right there,” Chandler said. “He did what he said he was going to do tonight and he did what he needed to do tonight, which was go out there and put a big stamp on his performance. Now he’s doing what he needs to do as well. He’s sitting at No. 9, he wants to say as many names as he possibly can. Slick little call out. The man impressed tonight. I’ve got to take my fighter hat off, be the analyst tonight, he did a phenomenal job against a very tough man. Kid’s got a bright future, we’ll see what happens.”
There is no questioning that Michael Chandler and Islam Makhachev are two of the best lightweights in the world. A fight between them could determine the next challenger to the lightweight throne. First, Charles Oliveira will need to compete for the title later this year.
Odds on Oliveira vs. Poirier are Now Available Online!
Islam Makhachev and Micheal Chandler are just two of the stars competing in at 155 pounds in the UFC. The entire top-10 of this division is a murderers row. Charles Oliviera remains the king of the division and is now likely gearing up to make his first title defense.
That won’t come easy against Dustin Poirier. “The Diamond” has scored two impressive victories over Conor McGregor thus far in 2021. He seems to be in the prime of his career and is ready to reclaim a world title at some point this year.
BetOnline is now offering odds on Oliveira vs. Chandler online! It’s a fantastic fight between two of the lightweight division’s best finishers. Some are surprised to see where both of these fighters stand in the eyes of the oddsmakers.
Despite being the champion, Charles Oliviera is listed as the +130 underdog in this bout. He hasn’t lost a fight since 2017 and seems to have finally found out how to put all of his skills together. It wouldn’t be a shock to see him lock in a submission over Poirier in their upcoming bout.
Dustin Poirier looked incredible in both fights against Conor McGregor this year. He is extremely durable and has one of the best overall skill sets in the lightweight division. BetOnline has the former interim lightweight champion as the -150 favorite in this matchup.
Are you interested in seeing Chandler vs. Makhachev? How do you think this lightweight fight would play out? Let us know in the comments section below.