Nate Diaz is linked to Khamzat Chimaev for UFC 279 on September 10, in order that choice is off the desk for Michael Chandler. And the favored fighter is now eyeing No. 6-ranked UFC light-weight Beneil Dariush.
Chandler is using the momentum of his brutal knockout over Tony Ferguson at UFC 274 in Could. With a promotional document of 2-2, “Iron” is ranked No. 5 within the division and has one other shot at UFC gold on his thoughts.
And to get there, he instructed TMZ Sports in a current interview that he’d prefer to tackle Dariush to cement himself as 155 pound’s potential subsequent prime contender.
“Subsequent, I wanna put myself in line for the title,” Chandler mentioned through MMA News. “I believe, in my thoughts, Beneil Dariush was within the primary contender spot with him and Makhachev about to struggle to turn out to be the primary contender. Beneil Dariush is on a 4, 5, six — no, seven-fight win streak, perhaps. So how do you not say that Beneil Dariush may be the primary contender outdoors of Islam Makhachev?
“Possibly you set me and Dariush in by the tip of the yr, we find yourself getting some solutions fairly fast. You’ve received your new champion in Makhachev or your present champion in Charles Oliveira, then you definately get a clear-cut primary contender, me or Beneil Dariush,” Iron continued. “That’s the struggle I see with the most important potential and the most effective potential for me getting again to the title shot.”
Dariush (21-4-1) is on a seven-fight win streak and final competed in Could 2021, defeating Ferguson through unanimous resolution at UFC 262. The fighter suffered a leg damage earlier this yr, however he instructed ESPN in March he hopes to return this summer time.
Charles Oliveira, who was pressured to vacate his belt in Could after a botched weight minimize, and Islam Makhachev are scheduled to compete for the vacant 155-pound belt on October 22 at UFC 280.
Chandler Would Additionally Wish to Battle Conor McGregor
McGregor remains to be out after breaking his leg final July, however at any time when Infamous is able to come again, Chandler will probably be able to welcome him again.
“If Conor’s coming again anytime quickly, I believe me and Conor would make some fireworks and it’s a struggle that followers wish to see,” Chandler mentioned within the TMZ interview. “I believe it’s the most important struggle we are able to make in blended martial arts proper now and I attempt to say that as humble as potential however I believe it’s an enormous struggle.”
Chandler Understands McGregor Taking His Time for His Comeback
Chandler isn’t making an attempt to hurry the Irishman again to the Octagon, admitting that he doesn’t know the extent of what McGregor has gone by means of since the UFC 264 leg break.
“The man snapped his leg. It wasn’t a small damage, it required surgical procedure, perhaps a number of surgical procedures, a titanium rod moving into, and all that stuff,” Chandler mentioned.
“I’m not gonna throw stones on the man,” he continued. “I imply the man fully shattered his leg and it was actually only a yr in the past. Have individuals come again faster than he’s gonna come again? Sure, in all probability, but in addition we don’t know the extent of Conor’s damage.”
Chandler can also be nicely conscious that that the Irishman is the most important star within the sport, however regardless, he can’t rush again to combating after such a grotesque damage.
“The [UFC] and the light-weight division is best when Conor McGregor is part of it however that being mentioned, he wants to come back again on the proper time.”