Michael Chandler Has A Plan To Coax Khabib Nurmagomedov Out Of Retirement

Michael Chandler

Michael Chandler wants to showcase his “good old fashioned American wrestling” against Dan Hooker in an attempt to coax Khabib Nurmagomedov out of his brief retirement from the sport.

The undefeated Russian announced he was to walk away from the sport after submitting Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October. Since then Nurmagomedov has remained in the USADA testing pool and he also remains the UFC lightweight champion fuelling rumours he will fight on. A meeting with Dana White is scheduled to take place later this month in Abu Dhabi and the UFC boss remains confident Nurmagomedov will fight on potentially in a rematch with Conor McGregor.

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Chandler is set to make his UFC debut against Hooker at UFC 257 on January 23. The three-time Bellator lightweight champion is hoping to really make a statement against his Australian opponent and display his elite-level wrestling which he thinks matches up well with Nurmagomedov’s.

“I want to put a stamp on my introduction for who I am to the UFC fans by finishing Dan Hooker or dominating him,” Chandler told MMA Fighting. “It really puts me in a position to where maybe I get the winner of Conor-Poirier or I get the next title shot against Khabib.

“I think if I go out there and showcase my wrestling skills, too. I mean there’s no doubt I want to go out there and knock Dan Hooker out, but I also want to show the world my wrestling skills. I want to put a stamp on good old fashioned American wrestling. Maybe I can entice Khabib to come back for the U.S. American wrestling versus Russian Sambo and see if he can get to 30-0 and beat me — if he can.”

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Do you think Michael Chandler can convince UFC lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov to return?