First reported by Ariel Helwani on his podcast DC and Helwani as being “In the works”, this Gaethje vs Chandler fight comes at a time where the horizon of the UFC’s lightweight division has potentially never been cloudier. This fight could quite possibly determine the #2 contender of the division. Seeing as Khabib Nurmagomedov is still champion, and after a career-changing performance over Conor Mcgregor at UFC 257, Dustin Poirier is clearly the #1 contender.
Ariel Helwani’s official quote about the situation came during the previously mentioned DC and Helwani podcast. Talking to DC about how Cormier spoke the Berneil Dariush and Tony Ferguson fight into existence, Ariel said:
“I think you (DC) have become the most powerful member of our MMA media with your ability to matchmake these fights. Then, I get word! Gaethje vs Chandler, in the works!”
Gaethje vs Chandler, Potential Fight of the Year?
While the Gaethje vs Chandler fight has not been officially announced, it’s safe to say that means both men are still thinking about it, or the UFC is just smoothing over the wrinkles. So, while that’s going on, let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore the paths both men have taken that bring us to this potential classic of a matchup.
Justin Gaethje (22-3, 4-3 UFC) was once a red-hot prospect who made his record 18-0 with a win over Michael Johnson at the TUF 25 finale. Facing Eddie Alvarez at UFC 218, he would have the streak ended by a knee from Alvarez in the third round, resulting in a KO and the first loss on Gaethje’s record.
It wouldn’t get any easier, either. As Gaethje would next be paired with Poirier, in a fight that many fans now consider a back-and-forth classic. Losing once more, this time via round 4 TKO, Gaethje would move on to face James Vick.
Finally getting back into the win column, Gaethje would end the fight with Vick victorious, via KO/TKO. Beginning what was a four-fight win streak via that method. Finishing legends of the game in Edson Barboza, Donald Cerrone, and Tony Ferguson, momentum couldn’t get any higher for Gaethje leading into his title-shot against Khabib. Then, at UFC 254, we witnessed the domination of Nurmagomedov yet again, as Gaethje would be put to sleep via a triangle-choke 1:34 into round two.
Michael Chandler (22-5, 1-0 UFC) is the former 3x Bellator lightweight champion, and the winner of Bellator’s season four lightweight tournament. As one of the most successful Bellator fighters in history, Chandler made huge waves in the MMA world when the news dropped he was signing with the UFC.
Riding a three-fight win streak via KO/TKO; Chandler most recently knocked out the legend Benson Henderson and made his UFC debut against Dan Hooker at UFC 257. If you thought the waves Chandler made by signing with the UFC were big, then we could call the waves he made from smoking Hooker in the first round a Tsunami! Going down officially as a 2:30 finish, Chandler shocked the world when a right-hand floored Hooker, and some follow-up shots were enough to earn the stoppage!
While the Gaethje vs Chandler fight has not been officially announced, chances are it will be very soon! With rumors of a Poirer and Mcgregor trilogy fight being almost signed and sealed, the Gaethje vs Chandler fight makes all the more sense! Who do you want to see fight? Leave your opinion in the comments below!
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