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“I’m the next guy in line”

“I’m the next guy in line”

“I’m the next guy in line”

Michael Chandler doesn’t think he’s too far away from another UFC title fight.

The former Bellator champion and top UFC lightweight contender believes that if all goes well in his next outing, he could be challenging for the UFC belt once again in the near future. Chandler (23-7 MMA, 2-2 UFC) takes on Dustin Poirier (28-7 MMA, 20-6 UFC) at UFC 281 on November 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

If victorious, Chandler would be on a two-fight winning streak since dropping a decision loss to Justin Gaethje in MMA Junkie’s 2021 Fight of the Year.

“I’m still thinking about becoming a world champion,” Chandler said on The MMA Hour. “I think I beat Dustin on November 12th, I think I’m the next guy in line.

“I’m fighting Islam or Oliveira in the first quarter of next summer or next year, whenever that fight materializes and I’m your world champion until the middle of next year.”

In connection with

Justin Gaethje ‘100 percent confident’ Islam Makhachev won’t dominate Charles Oliveira

Islam Makhachev: Charles Oliveira only accepted the fight when the UFC threatened to give it to Michael Chandler

The UFC lightweight belt will be on the line in October when Charles Oliveira meets Islam Makhachev in the main event of UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi.

Chandler is shocked that Makhachev is considered the favorite in the fight as he expects to rematch Oliveira for the belt sometime next year.

“I think Charles wins that fight,” Chandler said. “I think it’s crazy that Islam is favored. Aside from the fact that Charles Oliveira didn’t make weight in his last fight, which was unprofessional – and I think even he will admit this, and it’s not indicative of how a champion carries himself – it’s hard to make weight sometimes he missed it. But other than that, he looked really, really good finishing guys off.

“His hands have come a long way and just his overall confidence. The overall confidence that Charles Oliveira has now compared to a few years ago, as I said before, he’s kind of looking to become somewhat of a journeyman. Up and down, we couldn’t rely on putting in good performances. Now he’s turned that ship around and is our champion – well, not technically our champion, but in everyone’s eyes, he’s our champion for a reason. I think he’s going out there and bashing Islam.”

Does Chandler get a shot at the UFC title this year? – Powered by PickUp

This story originally appeared on MMA Junkie