Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler is FanSided MMA’s Fight of the Year

Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler is FanSided MMA’s Fight of the Year.

UFC lightweight contenders Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler put on an all-time classic at UFC 268, earning them FanSided MMA Fight of the Year.

In what was to be a FOTY-caliber battle from start to finish, Gaethje and Chandler met in the middle of the Octagon and rarely backed down. Both light hitters threw heavy combinations over three rounds, with both men putting each other in trouble throughout the match.

The T-Mobile Arena crowd was rarely silent during the heated exchanges. After fifteen minutes of chaos, Gaethje took the victory via unanimous decision.

Check out highlights from the Gaethje vs. Chandler UFC 268 war below.

UFC 268 barn burner between Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler is the best fight of 2021

Gaethje and Chandler entered UFC 268 with a lot to prove after both fighters lost title opportunities in their previous fights. Gaethje fell to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254, while Chandler lost the then vacant title to Charles Oliveira at UFC 262.

Chandler, in particular, entered the event with arguably more questions than answers regarding his position among the UFC’s elite. After a successful run in Bellator, he won his UFC debut by knockout over Dan Hooker, but some felt he was rushed into the title picture too quickly.

Chandler garnered a mountain of respect from UFC fans despite the loss to Gaethje. His tenacity was on point and he proved he could compete with some of the top 155-pounders in the promotion.

Gaethje and Chandler are both expected to be part of the lightweight title discussion for years to come, and it’s certainly possible that these two gladiators will fight again on an even bigger stage.

The annual FanSided MMA Awards are voted on annually by the FanSided MMA team. Please stay tuned for more rewards announced throughout the day.

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