We seem to have a little bit of bad blood forming in the UFC‘s lightweight division. Earlier this week, top contender and former title challenger Michael Chandler (22-6) took to Instagram Live where he talked about what’s next for him.
Chandler last fought at UFC 262 when he came up short against Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title. The former Bellator lightweight champion said that he’s targeting a return in either November or December of this year.
Chandler said that without a doubt the guy that he wants to fight is former interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje (22-3). Gaethje is ranked second in the division and he last fought at UFC 254 when he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Chandler said that Gaethje has been ducking him and refuses to accept the fight. He went on to say that the UFC has offered the fight to Gaethje three or four times and Gaethje has refused to take the fight.
However, Gaethje has since responded on Twitter. Let’s just say that ‘The Highlight’ wasn’t too thrilled with Chandler’s comments and he made it very clear that he hasn’t been ducking Chandler at all.
@MikeChandlerMMA is talking out of his ass. I was waiting for the bout agreement 3 weeks into camp and wake up to news his daddy Dana gave him the shot. He’s been out of commission since the KO. What am I missing? I’m on vacay and this fucker is slandering my name. 3-4 times? 🤦♂️
— Justin Gaethje 🇺🇸 (@Justin_Gaethje) July 21, 2021
Will the UFC make this fight happen?
I will agree with Michael Chandler when he says that the fight between him and Justin Gaethje is the fight to make. There is no questioning the fact that this is the fight that the UFC should make next.
Both men are coming off of losses in UFC title fights and both are ranked at the very top of the division. Not too mention the fact that stylistically, this is about as good as it gets when pairing any two lightweights against each other in terms of excitement.
Chandler and Gaethje would be fireworks and I think the UFC knows it. Dana White has mentioned that this is the fight that he wants to make and I think it happens. Whether it’s a Fight Night headliner or a co-main on a PPV, I’m expecting to see Chandler – Gaethje by the end of the year.