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Gaethje rejects five-rounder vs Chandler: I’m paid the same; I’ll save my ‘death in that cage’ for title bout

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Justin Gaethje explains why he’d rather not fight Michael Chandler in a five-rounder.

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Justin Gaethje right after defeating Tony Ferguson at UFC 249.
Justin Gaethje right after defeating Tony Ferguson at UFC 249.
Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

One of the most exciting matchups in recent memory has been made official for UFC 268. Former interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje will return after a year on the sidelines to take on Michael Chandler.

Many of you probably want it to receive the Diaz brothers treatment and make it a five-rounder. “The Highlight,” however, isn’t too keen on having those extra two rounds.

Here’s his explanation in a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

F—k that. Why would I sign up for two more rounds? I get paid the same. I get paid the same, at the end of the day. If I’m gonna ever suffer a critical, chronic (injury), or ultimately death in that cage, it will be in round four or five. So I’ll save those for championship fights or main events. I’m cool.

UFC 268 takes place on November 6th at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Headlining the event is a welterweight title rematch between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington.