Michael Chandler is open to fighting Justin Gaethje next time out.
In the main event of UFC 262, Chandler suffered a second-round TKO loss to Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight title. It was a disappointing loss for the former Bellator lightweight champion. After the loss, the goal for Chandler was still the same as he says he will be UFC champion within the next 12 months and says he likes the idea of facing Gaethje next time out.
“I think Gaethje-Chandler is probably the biggest fan favorite fight on the entire planet right now,” Chandler said to MMAFighting. “I think he becomes a part of my highlight reel or I become a part of his highlight reel and both of us come forward and enjoy a good old fashioned, passionate scrap. That’s how he’s wired. That’s how I’m wired. Justin Gaethje’s been on the tips of the UFC’s tongue, our tongue, myself and my management, since we signed with the UFC. It just hasn’t worked out that way for numerous different reasons.”
However, the problem with the Gaethje fight is due to the fact “The Highlight” has not fought since October and Michael Chandler says he isn’t sure the timing will work out. However, he knows regardless of his next fight he says he will have tons of options.
“Timing right now is the issue,” Chandler explained. “I just fought eight days ago, 10 days ago, whatever it was, he hasn’t fought in eight or 10 months at this point. It’s going to be a timing thing. You’ve got Beneil Dariush, who just fought, obviously he wants some time off because of his family. Who knows. All I know, the top five in the UFC is aplenty when it comes to talent and that’s a fight that I would welcome. It’s just got to make sense on the timeline and I tell you what, people will be chomping at the bit to see that fight.”
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime