Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler likes the idea of a showdown with Justin Gaethje.
Chandler fought out of his Bellator contract with his rematch against Benson Henderson. Chandler scored a first-round knockout victory. He hasn’t decided on his next move, but all willing promotions are on the clock.
Chandler Likes Idea Of Fighting Gaethje
Now a free agent, Chandler admitted to MMAJunkie that the thought of fighting interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje is appealing.
“That’s my favorite fight,” Chandler told MMA Junkie. “That one right there, because we’re gonna run sprints. I will have never sprinted towards anybody so fast in my entire life than I would Justin Gaethje. We’d meet right in the middle, we’d fight fire with fire. As he said, I love what he said because I was actually a fan of what he said, he said, ‘I want to go out there when I fight Khabib and create car crashes, I want to step in that cage and every single exchange is another car crash and we’re gonna find out who the better crash dummy is, who the tougher man, who’s the guy that’s willing to dig deeper.’
“I think that is me. I think I’ve always been a better competitor than him. I was in wrestling, I am in mixed martial arts, I’m a fan of his style. I’m even a fan of him cleaning up his style a little bit and being a little bit more technical and diplomatic with his style. So I think the last Justin Gaethje that we saw against Tony Ferguson was the best Justin Gaethje we’ve ever seen, and I would love to face that Justin Gaethje, and I would love to mix it up (with) him.”
Gaethje is scheduled to collide with 155-pound champion Khabib Nurmagomedov on Oct. 24. The two will collide in a lightweight title unification bout. It’ll serve as the UFC 254 headliner.
Chandler is expected to be highly valuable as a free agent. Many have praised him for his exciting fighting style. Even during the coronavirus pandemic, Bellator and the UFC are expected to make strong offers. There are other promotions potentially at play but COVID-19 may put a damper on things for international organizations due to travel concerns.