PFL 2021 Lightweight Champ Raush Manfio Calls out Michael Chandler: ‘I Can Beat this Guy’

Nov 22, 2021

“Cavalo de Guerra” believes he’s stronger than “Iron.”

At the end of one of the most fantastic runs in the sport this year, Raush Manfio captured the Professional Fighters League 155-pound championship on Oct. 27. Manfio (15-3, 4-0 PFL) entered the tournament as a short-notice replacement for Olivier Aubin-Mercier against Joilton Lutterbach and took a decision over the German. Manfio then narrowly edged out former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight titleholder Anthony Pettis via split decision before upending highly touted prospect Clay Collard on the scorecards. In the final, the American Top Team standout outpointed Loik Radzhabov after a five-round barnburner. Now, Manfio has in mind someone whom he would like to face in the upcoming PFL 2022 Season, three-time Bellator MMA titleholder Michael Chandler.

“For a long time, I thought he was the best fighter in the world,” Manfio told Sherdog. “Even if he wasn’t the champion, I think he had great stamina, really good wrestling, he has a really good power of knockout; he’s very explosive. In my thoughts, he was the most dangerous guy in the world. Not the best, but the most dangerous. I was a little bit afraid to fight him. But this changed in my heart. Right now, if I could fight him, it’s OK. I can beat this guy. I’m still a fan, I like the way he fights, but today I think, ‘OK, I can beat this guy.’ I really think this would be a great fight because of his style and my style. I’m almost sure this fight will finish with a knockout. It would be such an honor for me to fight him.”

Manfio also talked about his fight with Radzhabov, how he overcame adversity during the battle, the celebration of his victory and his 30th birthday, and much more.

Tudor Leonte started writing about mixed martial arts in 2013 for Italian media outlets. His journey with Sherdog began in 2018 and he now covers One Championship and countless European shows. You can follow him on Twitter @MrTudorLeonte.

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