Justin Gaethje promises Michael Chandler will be entering a world of pain in their upcoming lightweight bout at UFC 268.
Gaethje predicts Chandler will look to utilize his wrestling and score takedowns which is why ‘The Highlight’ plans to finish ‘Iron’ Mike as quickly and as violently as possible.
“Being a wrestler, being a competitor his whole life, I think he’s gonna come out firing shots,” Gaethje, who hasn’t fought since his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254, told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto in a recent interview (h/t MMA News). “I think it’s gonna be a great fight… which will be fun, fun for the crowd and fun for me. Will he start wrestling after I start landing big shots? I’m not sure, probably. But again, I’ve been defending takedowns my whole life. If he wants to waste energy there, then that’s fine. When he stands up he won’t be able to block his face anymore.”
“There’s only one common denominator in every single one of those fights and that’s myself,” he added. “So, it is what it is, that’s how I fight. This fight will be just the same. I’m gonna go out there and try and break this dude as fast as possible, as violently as possible. ‘Most violent man’ and all that bullshit, doesn’t matter, I’m 22-3 with 19 knockouts, which one of those dudes can say that, which one of those dudes can say they got nine bonuses in their first seven fights, not one of them. The common denominator is gonna be me every single time. It’s the way I fight, it’s why they pay me so much money.”
Chandler might primarily be a wrestler but the former three-time Bellator champ possesses devastating knockout power in both hands and is one of the most explosive strikers in the division.
He knocked out No. 6-ranked lightweight Dan Hooker in his UFC debut and almost KO’d Charles Oliveira in their lightweight title bout at UFC 262. He lost to ‘Do Bronx’ via second-round TKO in a failed bid to capture the lightweight title but solidified himself as a top-five contender.
UFC 268, which features Gaethje vs. Chandler on the main card, takes place next month, Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.