UFC: Michael Chandler predicts Justin Gaethje will ‘break’ Charles Oliveira


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Michael Chandler believes Justin Gaethje will be too much to deal with for lightweight champion Charles Oliveira. After his decision loss to Gaethje in a three-round thriller at UFC 268, Chandler told Ariel Helwani the MMA time that he not only sees Gaethje as the No.1 contender in the division, but also a clear favorite to take out the champion.

“I think Justin Gaethje is the clear No. 1 contender. He just beat me. [Islam] Makhachev, obviously, the way he sent Dan Hooker was absolutely phenomenal. What he did was awesome.

Chandler predicts Gaethje will ‘break’ Charles Oliveira

Does this justify a title shot? Not compared to what Justin Gaethje did, that’s my thought. I think Justin Gaethje is breaking Charles Oliveira.

But the most likely scenario is that Poirier wins this fight [Poirier vs Oliveira at UFC 269] because I think he has more tools and is just better in some areas and will not be submitted by Oliveira even though we have seen an increased level of typing from Oliveira as we have seen ‘ve seen in our fight.

But I think Justin Gaethje is cleaning up a few things, remembers how he lost to Dustin Poirier a few years ago, and I think he wins the title, in the middle of next year.

That’s a huge claim from Chandler, who is currently leading a two-game losing streak. He lost to Charles Oliveira earlier this year in a decisive lightweight title game, and to Gaethje when the pair opened the main card at UFC 269 a few weeks ago.

Chandler could have done another belt run had he won, and was asked if he could have been more strategic in his approach.

“Surely was this the smartest and easiest way to victory to win a fight against Justin Gaethje at Madison Square Garden, which really should have had implications for the title?

Probably not, but I also can’t control myself sometimes. I am here to entertain. I loved the competition, I love fighting for the UFC, I love what the last 13 months have been like, and it was definitely a highlight.

Fighting for the title a few months ago was great, but it was different. It was historic, it felt like Fight Week led us to a historical map as I sign the posters and go through everything and then it all ended up with a possible Fight of the Year Candidate.

Do you agree with Michael Chandler? Let us know in the comments.

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