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

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UFC Fight Night Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

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.

“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.