One of the most highly anticipated lightweight matchups has been officially booked. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report that the UFC has finalized a lightweight contest between Justin Gaethje (22-3) and Michael Chandler (22-6).
The fight is taking place at UFC 268 on November 6th. While it’s not official, the location for UFC 268 is supposed to be Madison Square Garden. The rematch between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington will headline the UFC 268 card. Chandler and Gaethje are expected to be the co-main event.
The UFC has been trying to book this fight for a while and it’s finally being booked. Michael Chandler was the big free agent signing for the UFC last year after his stint with Bellator. Chandler made his debut back in January and scored a first round knockout over Dan Hooker.
Following that win, Chandler got a shot at the vacant UFC lightweight title against Charles Oliveira. After a dominant first round, Chandler was stopped in the second round. Chandler took a little time off after the loss, but he’s ready to get back at it and the only fight he wanted was Justin Gaethje.
UFC return for Gaethje
This will actually be the first fight for Justin Gaethje since UFC 254 last October. Heading into that fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov, Gaethje was the interim lightweight champion. Gaethje was submitted in the second round by Nurmagomedov.
Since then, Gaethje has been taking some time off as he planned his next fight. Originally, the promotion was looking at having Gaethje and Chandler fight at UFC 262 for the vacant lightweight title. However, the promotion shifted gears and gave the shot to Oliveira who went on to capture the lightweight title.
Prior to his loss to Nurmagomedov, Gaethje had won four straight fights all by stoppage. This fight will seemingly line up with the title fight between Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira which is being targeted for the end of the year. The winner of this fight at UFC 268 will be the next in line for a title shot.