Justin Gaethje says he’s eager to fight Michael Chandler as he doesn’t like the former Bellator lightweight champion.
Gaethje and Chandler are scheduled to face one another on November 6 at UFC 268. It’s a highly-anticipated fight at lightweight where the winner could earn a title shot. For Gaethje, however, he says he’s ecstatic for the fight as it’s been a while since he fought someone he doesn’t like.
“I got nothing mean to say,” Gaethje said on Friday’s UFC 265 weigh-in show, where Chandler served as a co-host (h/t MMAJunkie). “We do mean things to each other one night a year. It’s been a while since I fought someone I didn’t like. For some reason, you’re a little different. I think it was James Vick, the last guy I fought that I didn’t like. It’ll be fun to punch you in the face.”
Not only does Gaethje not like Chandler, but he says “Iron” has a very punchable face that he’s excited to punch.
“I’m excited to fight someone I don’t like,” Gaethje said. “It’s been a while. I have no reason not to like you. Something about your face just makes me want to punch it.”
Justin Gaethje (22-3) has not fought since he suffered a submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254 for the lightweight title. Prior to that, “The Highlight” was on a four-fight winning streak with all four wins coming by knockouts. During the run, he defeated Tony Ferguson for the interim title, Donald Cerrone, Edson Barboza, and James Vick. Gaethje is just 5-3 in the UFC with his other two losses by stoppage to Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez. Yet, he will be a tough test for Chandler.
Michael Chandler (22-6) is coming off a TKO loss to Charles Oliveira in May for the vacant lightweight title. “Iron” appeared to be on his way to winning the fight after dropping and hurting Oliveira for the majority of the first round. In his UFC debut, he knocked out Dan Hooker in the first round. The former Bellator lightweight champion also holds notable wins over Benson Henderson, Eddie Alvarez, Patricky Pitbull, and Brent Primus among others. But, if he can beat Gaethje, he would cement himself as one of the best lightweights in the UFC.
Who do you think will win, Justin Gaethje or Michael Chandler?