Islam Makhachev, in the words of The Rock, wants Michael Chandler to understand his duty and shut his mouth.
When responding to Chandler's criticism on Twitter on Monday, Makhachev (23-7 MMA, 2-2 UFC) made that point quite apparent. In an MMA Fighting interview, Chandler criticized Makhachev's résumé.
“He hasn’t really fought anybody,” Chandler said. “That’s really the truth.”
It is true that Makhachev, who defeated Bobby Green by TKO at UFC 280 after Beneil Dariush backed out of their scheduled fight in February, will soon face Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight championship. Before that, Makhachev's biggest victory came over Dan Hooker, who had been on the decline and had dropped four of his previous five matches, including one to Makhachev.
Nevertheless, Makhachev has won 10 consecutive fights dating back to September 2016 and feels he is entitled to a championship opportunity in Abu Dhabi next month.
Makhachev responded after hearing Chandler's remarks.
Haha., your only two win [sic] in UFC is Hooker who came out of loss, and Tony who has 5 losses in the row now.,” Makhachev tweeted, “please shut up and stay in line:zipper_mouth_face: ”
In response to Makhachev's comment on Chandler, the former lightweight champion of Bellator is 2-2 since entering the UFC, with victories over Hooker and Tony Ferguson coming in May at UFC 274. Following his victory against Hooker by TKO, Chandler was given the opportunity to challenge Oliveira for the vacant championship. Despite controlling the first round, Chandler lost by TKO in the second. In the 2021 Fight of the Year versus Justin Gaethje, who accepted a unanimous decision following a three-round brawl, Chandler suffered his other UFC defeat.
A championship fight between Chandler and Makhachev may occur if Chandler defeats Dustin Poirier at UFC 281 in November and Makhachev wins gold at UFC 280.