Michael Chandler Claims Justin Gaethje Is The ‘Scariest’ Fighter He’s Faced Ahead Of UFC 268

One-time UFC lightweight title challenger, ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler has claimed that upcoming foe, former interim lightweight gold holder, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje is the “scariest” opponent he has faced throughout his professional career so far.

Chandler, the #4 ranked lightweight in the official lightweight pile, is slated to take main card honors against the #1 ranked challenger, Gaethje at UFC 268 in November at Madison Square Garden — with the victor likely challenging for undisputed spoils in their next Octagon walk.

For Chandler, the Missouri native enters the Octagon for the third time since his move from the Scott Coker-led Bellator MMA last year, having challenged current undisputed lightweight kingpin, Charles Oliveira in a vacant title fight back in May.

Headlining UFC 262 in May from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas — Chandler started quite well against Sao Paulo native, dropping him in the first round with strikes in the final minute of the opening frame. However, he was stopped with strikes himself in the opening exchanges of the second frame.

The outing marked Chandler’s first loss in the promotion following his Octagon debut back in January at UFC 257 where he stopped upcoming UFC 267 feature, Dan Hooker in the opening round with a massive overhand shot and resulting strikes.

Returning against Gaethje on November 5. in New York, Chandler claimed that the upcoming showdown pits him against the “scariest” opponent he has ever faced in his career.

He’s coming off a loss, I’m coming off a loss, essentially shattering both of our dreams of becoming the UFC champion so I expect him to come out with a fire,” Chandler told ESPN MMA. “I’m gonna come out with a fire and it’s gonna be a good night at Madison Square Garden.

I will say, I think Justin Gaethje is the scariest guy that I’ve ever fought,” Chandler explained. “He’s the craziest guy that I’ve ever fought. I’ve fought some very tough guys in the past but he by far takes the cake so there’s that bit of added intrigue to it.

Gaethje’s most recent Octagon walk came back in October of last year at UFC 254 against then-lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov in a title unification bout, which he lost via second round triangle. And despite the loss to Khabib, Chandler is still focused on the “dangerous” prospect facing him in the form of Gaethje.

It just wakes me up a little bit earlier in the morning, it helps me go a couple of extra rounds,” Chandler said. “Be a little bit more focused in my preparation because I know this guy (Gaethje) ain’t going away quickly and I know what he wants to do inside that Octagon. He’s done it twenty-something (knockouts) times before. Phenomenal fighter, dangerous fighter.


Ross Markey

An MMA fan since 2011 and covering the sport since 2016, Ross Markey has built himself into a top journalist in combat sports.

First catching on to MMA and the UFC in particular back when Brock Lesnar fought Shane Carwin, and even more so when he fought Alistair Overeem back in 2011, Ross really became enchanted with the sport from late-2013-2014 onwards.

He initially began covering MMA in tandem with football back in June 2016 just as he was finishing school. The first real event he covered on his own personal blog was UFC 200 in July of that year during international fight week. His content consisted of previews and event and results recaps. In between jobs, Ross produced content on the side before transitioning to a full-time position back in early 2019.

He initially started creating content on his own blog back in June of 2016, before becoming a staff writer, lead writer, and editor for websites such as MMA Motion, Combat Insiders, Fight Bananas, FightPost, Severe MMA, MMA Power Hour, FightBook MMA, LowKick MMA, and of course, Current MMA.

Back in 2019, Ross received the award Top Journalist of 2019 for FightBook MMA, before he was then promoted to the website's lead writer. Following a six-month period at MMA Power Hour, he was also employed as a junior editor for the company. Throughout his time in the industry, he has interviewed the likes of Colby Covington, Rhys McKee, Pedro Carvalho, Felicia Spencer, Eryk Anders, Jussier Formiga, Danni Neilan, Frans Mlambo, Alex Lohore, Blaine O'Driscoll, Modestas Bukauskas, Ross Houston, Jon Fitch, and Richie Smullen.

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