UFC lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev, has accused Michael Chandler of losing on purpose against Dustin Poirier, believing that Chandler did so to secure a bout against Conor McGregor.
Michael Chandler is set to welcome UFC megastar Conor McGregor, as the two exchange blows after serving as opposite team coaches on season 31 of TUF, a television reality show produced by the UFC.
Chandler’s record is 2-1, after losing to Charles Oliveira for the vacant belt back in 2021. He then lost to Justin Gaethje in a 3-round slugfest via unanimous decision. Chandler went on to knock out fan-favorite Tony Ferguson in the second round. In his last bout, he got submitted by number 2 contender Dustin Poirier.
UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev smells a conspiracy. According to Makhachev, Chandler’s bout against Poirier was staged. The Dagestani explained that McGregor had already chosen Chandler for his return, so Chandler lost on purpose.
“These are both smart guys. 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,” Makhachev told BT Sport.
He added, “He does not deserve McGregor, even if he beats Chandler or some of the other guys. But if UFC wants it, why not? It’ll make some good money. Let’s go.”
Makhachev believes that Chandler’s loss made him a fit opponent to welcome McGregor, who has been absent for almost two years. The 34-year-old Irishman also suffered back-to-back losses against Poirier.
If Chandler had won, he would surely have earned a title shot next. However, he cannot take it for granted as UFC matchmaking is not always structured. Makhachev’s accusation surely has many weaknesses, especially after Chandler’s desperate attempts to win, such as playing dirty by fishhooking Poirier and smearing his blood clot on Poirier’s face.
Ezra Samuel is a passionate freelance writer with a particular love for covering MMA news. His interest in the sport dates back to his college days, and he has since established himself as a respected voice in the MMA community. Over the years, Ezra has contributed his writing to a variety of digital outlets, including the popular site calfkicker.