Former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez recently went on record to warn Michael Chandler about fighting Justin Gaethje. Having fought “The Highlight” himself, here’s what Alvarez advised his former Bellator rival.
I think Gaethje is a terrible match-up for him. And I think he should probably stay away from Gaethje. That’s not a good match-up for him.
Chandler recently spoke to MMA Fighting to address these comments, among other things. First, he did acknowledge that Gaethje could be a difficult matchup for him, as the rest of the 155-pound’s top-tier competitors would.
“Well number one, you can’t look at the top five, top six guys and there’s scenarios where we are all bad matchups for each other and we are all good matchups for each other,” Chandler said. “It’s all the upper echelon, it’s all the top five, top six on the entire planet at a certain weight class.
“All I know, the top five in the UFC is aplenty when it comes to talent and that’s a fight that I would welcome. It’s just got to make sense on the timeline and I tell you what, people will be chomping at the bit to see that fight.”
As for Alvarez’s statement, this is what he had to say.
“You’ve got to respect Eddie. Eddie’s a legend,” Chandler said. “He is 100 percent a Hall of Famer when it comes to lightweights. One of the greatest lightweights of all time. I’m going to have to have a conversation with him and see what he thinks.
“I’ll tell you this — if Eddie Alvarez can beat Justin Gaethje, I can definitely beat Justin Gaethje. I won’t just TKO him. I believe I’ll knock Justin Gaethje out cold. I’ll keep a high pace just like Eddie did. It will be a very fun fight. It’s a fight people want to see.”
Chandler went on to reiterate his plans to take some time off then get back into training camp “sometime in the fall.” The 35-year-old last saw action at UFC 262 two weeks ago where he was TKOd by Charles Oliveira in the second round.