Midnight Mania! Michael Chandler wants Justin Gaethje for UFC debut


Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Michael Chandler’s signing to the UFC is arguably the promotion’s biggest pickup of the year. He joins an already talented Lightweight division, but with Khabib Nurmagomedov unexpectedly retiring, maybe now is the perfect time to increase the division even further! The UFC is treating Chandler’s signing as a major move, injecting him straight into the title mix as a backup of the Lightweight title last week.

Now that UFC 254 is over, who is he going to fight?

Chandler gave his take on lightweight while speaking with The Schmo, “There are a lot of different options right now,” Chandler said (transcribed via MMAFighting). “I think with the look of the scenery – you had Gaethje and Khabib with Khabib as the lightweight champion after tonight – I was thinking of Tony Ferguson. But now you have Jon Anik and Justin Gaethje talking after the fight. Gaethje is a player. Justin Gaethje is one of the biggest contenders we’ll ever get to groom the Octagon. . . (and) he said he was ready in six to eight weeks, he was ready to fight again. He didn’t take that much damage in this fight, which is great. I’m ready in six to eight weeks, he’s ready in six to eight weeks, there’s a fight against Tony Ferguson, there’s The Ultimate Fighter coming up, I know it’s going to be a big start for ESPN. The climax in a lightweight title shot seems like nonstop action for ESPN, so I’d love to be a part of that as well. So we’ll see what happens.

More than anything else, Chandler pursues the excitement factor of an opposing “The Highlight” fight, which would surely guarantee at least a bonus for someone!

“At this point, with how everything has changed tonight, I think a fight with Justin Gaethje has always excited me more than anyone in the entire division,” Chandler concluded. “More than Conor or Khabib, even if the mystique of beating Khabib and taking his 0 is something special, or fighting Conor on the most profitable card of the year and earning the most money, the panties red as he likes to call it. These are all wonderful, but when it comes to just a direct competitor against a competitor, a hand to hand fight, a mano a mano, an American blue collar wrestler in a small town against a small town American blue collar wrestler, it’s me and Justin Gaethje caged against each other, so it’s exciting for me.

In the end, the fight does indeed make sense if Gaethje seeks a quick turnaround. However, Ferguson is still waiting in the ranks and apparently ready to go, so “El Cucuy” can have the first dibs on the former Bellator champion.

One thing is for sure: the light weight is always stacked!


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