MMA fighter Michael Chandler, who was recently signed by the UFC, revealed that he knows how to defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov. Chandler, who is a former three-time Bellator lightweight champion and is ranked seventh on the list of the world’s best lightweight fighters, said he has been studying Nurmagomedov’s fighting style for five years and has found the athlete’s weak spots.
"He [Khabib] knows his ability to win the fight is predicated on him being able to get in your face, to put you up against the cage and pick you up and hold you down. That’s the game plan: Don’t get taken down", Chandler told ESPN MMA in an interview.
The 34-year-old noted that he is "a fan" of Khabib’s ability to be able impose his "grappling will" on some of the best athletes that have ever entered Octagon.
Commenting on how he could mentally undermine Nurmagomedov, Chandler said:
"He is one of the most mentally tough guys. He is one of the most harsh and tough competitors, but when you clip a bird’s wings and all he knows that his only mode of transportation is flying…he starts to see different aspects of that individual spirit", Chandler said.
Chandler will be a backup fighter at the UFC 254 event, which will see Nurmagomedov defend his title against US fighter Justin Gaethe. The bout is scheduled for 25 October. If Nurmagomedov or Gaethe can’t fight, Chandler will step in for them.