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UFC 268: Despite hardline stance on COVID vaccination, Michael Chandler ‘signed, sealed, delivered’ for Nov. 6

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UFC 257: Hooker v Chandler Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Outspoken lightweight contender Michael Chandler insists he’s fighting at the upcoming UFC 268 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, where “Iron” is expected to throw down opposite fellow 155-pound action fighter Justin Gaethje.

“Signed, sealed, delivered. November 6 we party!” Chandler wrote on Twitter.

That might come as a surprise in light of recent comments Chandler made about refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, but language in “The Empire State’s” Emergency Executive Order 225 — requiring proof of vaccination for all indoor activities — may provide the necessary wiggle room.

Exemptions include:

A nonresident professional athlete/sports team who enters a covered premises as part of their regular employment for purposes of competing; and

A nonresident individual accompanying a performing artist or professional athlete/sports team into a covered premises as part of their regular employment so long as the performing artist or professional athlete/sports team are performing or competing in the covered premises.

New York’s vaccine mandate took effect on Aug. 17.

It’s important to note the promotion has yet to make an official announcement regarding the city and venue for UFC 268 and may opt to put New York on hold in favor of states like Texas or Florida, simply for the sake of logistics. Time is of the essence, so expect that decision in the next couple of weeks, if not days.

What we do know for certain is that Chandler has a signed contract to fight Gaethje and the lightweight division — which is slowly starting to rebuild itself following the departure of Karen Nurmagomedov — will produce the next top contender before the end of the year.

We hope.