According to Tipico, ex-champ Oliveira (33-8 MMA, 21-8 UFC) is a +135 underdog heading into his vacant lightweight title fight against Makhachev (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC), which headlines UFC 280 on Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi.
Chandler (23-7 MMA, 2-2 UFC) almost beat Oliveira when the pair fought for the title at UFC 262. dropped and hurt Oliveira at the end of Round 1, but ultimately was knocked out in Round 2. So, knowing how dangerous the UFC’s all-time leader in finishes is, Chandler is surprised to see Makhachev favored over Oliveira.
“Charles has the upper hand, in my opinion,” Chandler told MMA Junkie at Kill Cliff Fight Club. “I think it’s crazy that he’s an underdog, but I do think Islam has the tools to be able to win. So we’ll see what happens on Oct. 22. I’ll be watching that very intensely, and I hope to face the winner.
“You definitely can’t say that Islam is unproven, but you definitely can say – I think there’s a certain mystique, there’s this certain correlation that we want to make between Khabib (Nurmagomedov) and Islam, and then you have (coach) Javier Mendez coming out and saying that Islam is better than Khabib. You’ve got Khabib saying that Islam is better than Khabib. You’ve got this big hype machine coming up.”
Chandler faces Dustin Poirier at UFC 281 on Nov. 12. With a win, he hopes to get the winner of Oliveira vs. Makhachev and sees perks in fighting either.
“For me, who would I rather face? I think it’s 50-50,” Chandler said. “I think if it’s Charles, I would love to be able to get the rematch. I think I was so close to winning the title against Charles. I think that we have tape on each other. We have highlight reels of each other fighting each other. Both of us had our highs and lows in that fight. And I also would love to, if Islam does beat Charles, I would love to be the guy that stops the hype train of Islam if he does win.”
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