clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Justin Gaethje willing to die for UFC title, not Michael Chandler bout in New York

If your boss asked you to work overtime — but refused to pay for it — you would probably laugh and jump ship at the five o’clock whistle.

Justin Gaethje is no different.

That’s why “The Highlight” is rejecting calls to make his Michael Chandler contest a five-round fight at UFC 268 in New York. It doesn’t grant him any additional funds and further risks his chance of death or disability.

LIVE! Watch UFC 295 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

TWO TITLES UP FOR GRABS! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sat., Nov. 11, 2023, with a re-worked pay-per-view (PPV) main card. In the ESPN+-streamed main event, former 205-pound roost-ruler, Jiri Prochazka, will lock horns with ex-Middleweight kingpin, Alex Pereira, for the promotion’s vacant Light Heavyweight title. In UFC 295’s co-main event, top-ranked Heavyweight contenders, Sergei Pavlovich (No. 2) and Tom Aspinall (No. 4), will collide for the interim strap after division champion, Jon Jones, was injured with a torn pectoral muscle and forced to withdraw (video).

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

“Fuck that, why would I sign up for two more rounds? I get paid the same,” Gaethje told ESPN (transcribed by Milan Ordonez). “I get paid the same, at the end of the day. If I’m gonna ever suffer a critical, chronic (injury), or ultimately death in that cage, it will be in round four or five. So I’ll save those for championship fights or main events. I’m cool.”

Gaethje and Chandler are separated by just two spots in the official UFC rankings. The winner of their 155-pound contest, which takes place on Nov. 6 inside Madison Square Garden in New York City, could result in the next lightweight title shot.

Both “The Highlight” and “Iron” are coming off championship losses. Gaethje was submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254, while Chandler missed his chance to grab the vacant strap after falling to Charles Oliveira at UFC 262.

Oliveira is expected to defend his title against Dustin Poirier in December.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania