A mouth-watering lightweight bout between former interim titleholder, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje and the most recent title challenger, ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler has been reportedly been “verbally agreed” to for UFC 268 — with the promotion currently targeting November 6th. as the date for the PPV event, with Madison Square Garden in New York City also earmarked as a potential landing pad.
In his most recent outing, Trevor Wittman trainee, Gaethje suffered a second round triangle loss to the undefeated, Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event of UFC 254 last October on ‘Fight Island’ in a lightweight title unification bout.
For Chandler, the Missouri native headlined UFC 262 in May at the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas, suffering a second round knockout loss to Charles Oliveira in a vacant undisputed lightweight title bout. The loss came as the veteran’s first under the UFC’s banner. ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto was first report the news of the targeted lightweight scrap.
A former interim lightweight champion, Arizona native, Gaethje saw his stunning four fight knockout run halted by undefeated Dagestani, Nurmagomedov last October, having snapped the 12-fight undefeated run of former interim titleholder, Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 last May to lift his own interim crown.
A former undisputed WSOF lightweight to boot, Gaethje has managed lodge Octagon victories over Michael Johnson, James Vick, Edson Barboza, Donald Cerrone, as well as the aforenoted, Ferguson.
Chandler, a former three-time Bellator lightweight gold holder, made his long-awaited UFC bow back in January of this year on ‘Fight Island’ — taking co-headlining honours at UFC 256.
Debuting opposite City Kickboxing striker, Dan Hooker, Chandler exploded onto the Octagon scene with a massive opening round knockout stoppage.
Headlining in Texas just four months later, the Sanford MMA staple dropped an early second round knockout loss to minted lightweight champion, Oliveira, snapping a three fight knockout rise for the veteran.
UFC 268 is tentatively expected to take place on November 6th. from Madison Square Garden in New York City, with a welterweight title rematch between defending gold holder, Kamaru Usman and the #1 ranked, former interim champion, Colby Covington expected to take headlining honours.