Gregory Payan/Associated Press
Khabib Nurmagomedov might be retired, but Michael Chandler is holding out hope for a fight with the unbeaten lightweight champion.
Ahead of his UFC debut on Saturday, Chandler told TMZ Sports he’d rather take on Nurmagomedov over Conor McGregor if given the choice.
“I would have to say if I had to lean one way, I would go Khabib,” he said. “You gotta get that title shot. Those are not easy to come by here in the UFC, so I would definitely choose that, but of course they’re all getting talked about after I win my fight Saturday night.”
Last week, UFC president Dana White said Nurmagomedov feels satisfied with what he has done over his career and isn’t itching to return to the Octagon. However, he might be enticed based on how UFC 257 unfolds:
Unfortunately, Khabib sounded pretty resolute when discussing his future with Sport24 (via MMA Mania’s Jesse Holland).
“I have achieved almost everything in this sport and there isn’t someone I would like to fight now,” Nurmagomedov said. “A lot of people don’t want to understand my side. I don’t see that yet. I train for myself. If we talk about all my business projects that are planned, fights are not in these plans.”
Chandler can still compete for lightweight gold one day; it probably won’t be against Khabib.