After Michael Chandler came up short in his bid to capture the vacant Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight title against Charles Oliveira at UFC 262 (see it again here), talks about what was next for the former Bellator champion soon began to pick up.
The top pick for Chandler’s bounce back fight was one against Justin Gaethje, who is also coming off a championship fight defeat at the hands of former 155-pound title holder Khabib Nurmagomedov.
As far as Chandler is concerned, he has no qualms taking on Gaethje next, saying either way someone is going to end up on the other’s highlight reel.
“I think Gaethje-Chandler is probably the biggest fan favorite fight on the entire planet right now,” Chandler said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I think he becomes a part of my highlight reel or I become a part of his highlight reel and both of us come forward and enjoy a good old fashioned, passionate scrap. That’s how he’s wired. That’s how I’m wired.
“Justin Gaethje’s been on the tips of the UFC’s tongue, our tongue, myself and my management, since we signed with the UFC,” he added. “It just hasn’t worked out that way for numerous different reasons.”
One man that doesn’t think it would be a good idea for Chandler to face off against “Highlight” coming off a knockout loss is Eddie Alvarez, a man who has plenty of history with both men. According to “The Underground King,” Gaethje is simply a “terrible” match up for Chandler.
Of course, it’s a sentiment that “Iron” wholeheartedly disagrees with.
“I’ll tell you this — if Eddie Alvarez can beat Justin Gaethje, I can definitely beat Justin Gaethje. I won’t just TKO him. I believe I’ll knock Justin Gaethje out cold. I’ll keep a high pace just like Eddie did. It will be a very fun fight. It’s a fight people want to see,” he concluded.
According to Chandler, the only thing preventing a fight between them going down is timing seeing as how he just competed a week or so ago, while Gaethje last fought in Oct. 2020 and could be ready to mount his comeback sooner, rather than later.