Justin Gaethje can’t wait to finally punch Michael Chandler in the face.
‘The Highlight’ isn’t one to hold grudges but revealed during Friday’s UFC 265 weigh-in show that he’ll enjoy putting a beating on ‘Iron’ Mike in their highly anticipated lightweight matchup at UFC 268.
Justin Gaethje: It'll be fun to punch you in the face.— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 6, 2021
Michael Chandler: You know, I think that'll be fun too.
This exchange between @Justin_Gaethje and @MikeChandlerMMA (via @ufc) pic.twitter.com/wz2stRMylW
“I got nothing mean to say,” Gaethje said (h/t MMA Junkie). “We do mean things to each other one night a year. It’s been a while since I fought someone I didn’t like. For some reason you’re a little different. I think it was James Vick, the last guy I fought that I didn’t like. It’ll be fun to punch you in the face.”
“I’m excited to fight someone I don’t like. It’s been a while. I have no reason not to like you. Something about your face just makes me want to punch it.”
The bout is tentatively scheduled for the upcoming UFC 268 pay-per-view in NYC on Nov. 6 but, due to Chandler not being vaccinated, the fight could be pushed back to a later date at a different location.
Gaethje admitted he would prefer the fight take place in Texas anyway.
“I don’t think it’ll be in New York City,” the former interim lightweight champ said. “I think it’ll be in probably Texas or something, somewhere way sweeter than New York City. New York City sucks. Anywhere outside of that place, and we’ll be good to go.”
Gaethje is currently #2 in the UFC lightweight rankings and looking to bounce back from his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov. Chandler, who is ranked #4, is also looking to rebound from his submission defeat to Charles Oliveira at UFC 262 in which the former came up short in his bid to become a two-promotion champ.