Michael Chandler says Gaethje should prepare to go to work
HOLLYWOOD, Fla .– Right now, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Michael Chandler wants to get into a shootout.
He’ll have his next opportunity in a few months on a high-profile map. Chandler (22-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) will face Justin Gaethje (22-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) on November 6 at UFC 268, which is scheduled for Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Chandler never shied away from heavy fighting, nor did he shy away from predicting future violence in his clashes. That’s what he thinks will happen with Gaethje, another seasoned gunslinger.
“I think we go out there, we find out who takes the first step back, we get into a fight and we have a blast,” Chandler told MMA Junkie at Saturday’s Triller boxing event not far from its home port in South Florida. “I’m going to step forward, I’m going to enter (Gaethje’s) face, I’m going to take the center of the octagon. I’m ready for the violence, I’m ready for the bloodshed, and I’m ready for action to put the fans back home on a phenomenal show. So (Gaethje should) cook lunch, show up, eat a lot – because we have work to do.
In eight UFC fights, Geathje has nine notable performance bonuses – including two fights in which he doubled. The only fight he failed to get a bonus check for was his last stop, when he was put to sleep by Khabib Nurmagomedov in his bid to win the UFC 254 lightweight title. Gaethje was the interim champion at the time.
Chandler just won his own failed bid for a UFC title. He was stopped with a second-round TKO by Charles Oliveira in a vacant UFC 262 lightweight title fight in May after Nurmagomedov retired from the title.
The former Bellator champion’s UFC debut was a bonus knockout of Dan Hooker in January, so he’s no stranger to highlighting the reels.
“All I’ve been trying to do for the last 13 years is give the fans a firework display,” Chandler said. “I haven’t had a better opponent for that since Eddie Alvarez, and that was years ago at this point. I’m excited about it. I think Justin Gaethje is an accomplished professional and an exciting fighter. “