Sonnen recently revealed that Nurmagomedov told him that Chandler would get a shot at the lightweight gold by defeating Makhachev.
“(Khabib) said, ‘Chael, I watch your videos, I need to tell you something. I want to make this very clear,”’ Sonnen recounted on his Youtube channel (via Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting). “He said, ‘There’s no one I’m closer to than Islam.’ And he said, ‘I’m telling you right now, if Michael Chandler beats Islam, I will view Michael Chandler (as) the number one contender, and I want you to get the message out.’ I said, ‘OK, Khabib, when I get the message out, I’m gonna say you called me, you told me this.’ He goes, ‘That’s what I’m doing. Get that message out.’”
“I was wondering only slightly why I was being told that in terms of there’s no way that Chandler was offered Islam and Chandler said no,” Sonnen said. “Generally when I get a phone call like this, it’s because one guy isn’t coming to the table. I would be stunned to hear that happen. I am very confident telling you guys that did not happen. I am very confident. Michael Chandler will step in and fight anybody. As a matter of fact, he’s waiting for that phone call to come.”