One-time UFC lightweight title challenger, ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler has made a vow that when he shares the Octagon with former interim gold holder, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje at UFC 268 in November, he will meet him head-on with “reckless abandon“.
Slated to meet with the former interim gold holder, the #2 ranked, Gaethje, Sanford MMA staple, Chandler looks to rebound from a May vacant lightweight title challenge loss against current champion, Charles Oliveira — where he suffered a second round knockout at UFC 262, despite a very bright start to in the opening round.
For Arizona native, Gaethje, he makes his first Octagon walk in 13-months when paired against Chandler, off the back of an unsuccessful bid to unify the lightweight titles at UFC 254 last October — suffering a second round triangle defeat against the now-retired former kingpin, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Initially debuting in the UFC with huge success, Chandler, a former three-time undisputed Bellator MMA lightweight titleholder, co-headlined UFC 257 in January on ‘Fight Island’ — knocking out City Kickboxing staple, Dan Hooker with a massive opening round strike.
Pressing Oliveira early in their May matchup, the Missouri native was forced into action after finding himself on the receiving end of some notable early leg kicks from the Sao Paulo finisher, appearing to wobble the former with a straight shot, drawing an eventual double-leg takedown attempt.
When pitted with Gaethje in a mouth-watering, highly-anticipated bout in November at Madison Square Garden, Chandler has claimed that he promises to meet the knockout artist with “reckless abandon“.
“Here is a promise to you all… I’m coming forward with reckless abandon,” Chandler tweeted last night. “He (Justin Gaethje) will take the first backward step.“
Looking to take a play from the book for the aforenoted, Khabib, the Dagestani managed to lodge major early success against Gaethje — pressing him with forward pace before scoring an opening round takedown, with the latter appearing severely fatigued between rounds as he dealt with the fact he was constantly forced on the back foot.