Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler Verbally Agree To Return To Octagon For UFC 268
It’s unofficial, but another great lightweight bout may be hitting the octagon in November.
No contracts were signed, but Justin Gaethje (22-3) and Michael Chandler (22-6) accepted the fight date, sources told ESPN. Though the date is unconfirmed, it’s targeted for November 6 in Madison Square Garden in New York.
“The Highlight” Gaethje has not fought since his loss against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254 in October 2020. But Gaethje has a nickname for a reason — he has finished 91% of his victories via KO/TKO or submission.
Gaethje was undefeated before signing in the UFC.
In his debut fight, he defeated veteran fighter Michael Johnson via TKO in the second round. He then suffered two losses against former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and former UFC interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier.
Gaethje defeated James Vick, Edson Barboza, and Donald Cerrone via first-round KO, and earned the interim lightweight title while defeating The Legend of the UFC — Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson.
“Iron” Chandler’s record in the UFC is 1-1.
He managed to earn victory against Dan Hooker in his debut but recently suffered a loss against Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira in their title bout. In the first round, he managed to drop Do Bronx, but was knocked down with a left hook, snagging the title.
Both Chandler and Gaethje are must-watch fighters.
The lightweight division is stuck after Khabib’s retirement, but these two fighters just keep moving forward and throwing some bombs.
Fans are arguing a lot about who is going to be the champion at the end of the year.
Poirier is the No. 1 ranked contender and is set to face Oliveira late this year. Meanwhile, The Notorious Conor McGregor announced to be back in the octagon in 2022; he shared some videos of his training even with a broken leg. Khabib’s student Islam Makhachev is getting closer to his title shot, just like Beneil Dariush, the No. 3 ranked lightweight.
But Chandler and Gaethje will find out who is the more worthy candidate for the title.
The fight card headliner will be the rematch between Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman and Colby “Chaos” Covington. They first met each other as rivals at UFC 245. After that bout, Usman defended his title three times while Colby dethroned Tyron Woodley in September 2020 via KO/TKO.