Islam Makhachev is responding to criticism over his UFC résumé — again.
A month away from his championship fight against Charles Oliveira at UFC 280, Makhachev has had his strength of schedule questioned by several of his counterparts, including Michael Chandler. Though impressed by what he has seen so far, ‘Iron’ wondered if the quality of opponents Makhachev has fought was enough to justify a championship opportunity.
“Nothing against Islam, you say he looks great, you say he looks unbeatable at times, but he hasn’t really fought anybody,” Chandler told Damon Martin of MMA Fighting. “That’s really the truth. He beat No. 14 and then he beat Dan Hooker, who was on a three or four-fight losing streak.
“Now people will say, ‘Well, one of your wins was against Dan Hooker, what are you talking about?,’” continued Chandler. “I fought Dan Hooker at a different time. He had just gone 25 minutes with Dustin Poirier, who at that time was the No. 2 lightweight on the entire planet.”
Makhachev responded to Chandler, reminding the one-time title challenger of his own strength of schedule after joining the UFC following his departure from Bellator.
Haha., your only two win in UFC is Hooker who came out of loss, and Tony who has 5 losses in the row now., please shut up and stay in line https://t.co/DXPrf3A9dX
— Makhachev Islam (@MAKHACHEVMMA) September 26, 2022
“Your only two win[s] in UFC is Hooker who came out of a loss and Tony who has 5 losses in the row now,” wrote Makhachev. “Please shut up and stay in line.”
Chandler previously challenged Makhachev, but the two were booked against Dustin Poirier and the aforementioned Oliveira instead. Perhaps if they emerge victorious in their fights, Chandler vs. Makhachev could be up next.
Since joining the promotion, Makhachev has gone 11-1, with his only loss coming against Adriano Martins at UFC 192 nearly seven years ago. The Khabib Nurmagomedov protégé rattled off ten straight wins, which included finishes of Thiago Moisés, Dan Hooker and Bobby Green.
UFC 280 goes down on Sat., Oct. 22, at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
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