Michael Chandler came to the UFC with the mission to become a champion. After losing to Charles Oliveira in a vacant title fight at UFC 262, he hit a second roadblock in that mission when he lost recently to Justin Gaethje.
The fight between Chandler and Gaethje at UFC 268 was considered to be a title eliminator match to see who will face champion Charles Oliveira next. Unfortunately for Chandler, he was eliminated from that discussion. Now, he is taking some time to look back at what went right and what went wrong in the cage with Gaethje.
Chandler is a seasoned vet. He knows when he was been in a good fight and when he has been in a bad one. He feels that the fight against Gaethje, although a loss on paper, was a good one for him. However, after Gaethje downplayed the entertainment value of the classic by calling it ‘boring,’ Chandler explained to CBSSports.com why Gaethje might feel that way.
“I think in Justin Gaethje’s mind, I think he was disappointed in his performance and when that comes about, it can play tricks on your mind that it was a boring fight because there are a lot of times when we as fighters get done with our fights and we see the fight differently in our head or we remember how we felt after the fight right away,” Chandler said. “Then you go back and watch it and realize it was a much more exciting fight or a much more dominant fight. Case in point, my fight against Benson Henderson years ago. I lost the fifth round, so I felt like I lost the entire fight. I was just so disappointed by the way the fight came to a close after that fifth-round win. Really, I spent the first four rounds dominating him on a lot of people’s scorecards.
Chandler: I Out-Gaethjed Justin Gaethje
Chandler was happy with the bout, although not the outcome. It was a brutal fight in which both men ended up being sent to the hospital afterward. Chandler has mentioned that he has no desire to fight in that manner again in his career again, but he still believes the quality of his performance and the fight can’t be denied.
“So I think what happened there was, I think Justin Gaethje was a little bit disappointed in his performance,” Chandler said. “Not to mention the fact that he did drop me and wasn’t able to finish me. Not to mention the fact that I think I out-Justin Gaethje’d Justin Gaethje in some of those exchanges. I think there is no doubt it was definitely not a boring fight. The Fight of the Year awards on everybody’s cards solidifies that. Maybe we’ll share the Octagon again and we’ll give the fans another treat. We’ll see.”
Chandler is putting the Gaethje fight behind him and is looking ahead to new opportunities. He has a rumored fight in the works against Tony Ferguson. And although the fight is not official yet, a win there could have Chandler right back in the mix. As for Gaethje, he is next for the champ Charles Oliveira later this year.
Where do you rank the fight between Michael Chandler vs. Justin Gaethje all time?