In recent months Dana White has indicted his interest in having Michael Chandler fight another former UFC Lightweight title challenger Justin Gaethje, but it seems that one of the two fighters isn’t on-board with the idea.
“He’s been asked to fight me three or four different times,” Chandler revealed to The Mac Life in a new interview. “Every time he’s declined. He and I are ranked two spots away from each other. He has not fought since last October. He needs to get a fight in if he thinks he’s gonna fight for the title.”
Chandler revealed that the UFC had earmarked a fight between them for UFC 262 recently, but Gaethje declined.
“For some reason, him and his camp have no interest in fighting me. So, that’s the fight I want. That’s the way it should be – two of the best guys fighting. It’s also a fight that I know the fans want to see.”
Gaethje was previously known to have been angered by the fact that Chandler had got a shot at the vacant 155lb title against Charles Oliveira ahead of him, given that he’d only recently joined from Bellator, so that may have something to do with it.
However, Chandler is right that Gaethje does have to fight again if he wants to get into title contention, as despite his thrilling fights in the Octagon over the years, his uncharacteristically subdued performance during a submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov last year has temporarily weakened his bargaining power.
That being said, he’s still the kind of fighter that everyone wants to see back in the Octagon and beyond Chandler there’s plenty of other talented lightweights he could be paired up against, so hopefully the UFC brass will arrange something for both him and Chandler sooner rather than later.