Michael Chandler recently indicated that his upcoming fight with Justin Gaethje in New York City might be in jeopardy due to it appearing that all the fighters on the card would require to be vaccinated before they would be allowed to compete there, based on a recent mandate in the region.
At the time Chandler spoke about his hesitancy to get vaccinated until he was absolutely sure it was safe to do so.
“It’s not that I’m anti-vax,” Chandler said at the time on Instagram Live. “It’s not that I don’t believe in the vaccine, necessarily. I’m just not going to get the vaccine until it’s 100 percent FDA approved.”
As it happens, since Chandler’s statement on the matter the FDA has now officially approved that the Pfizer vaccination, but it seems that’s not enough to get the UFC star to take it after all.
“I don’t want it, FDA approval or not,” Chandler told one of a number of fans who asked if he would now be getting it. “Real enough for you? I have no problem with people getting it. We all have a choice…this is mine.”
However, despite concerns about whether he would be allowed to compete in NYC at UFC 268, it seems that Chandler is still on-board.
“Signed, sealed, delivered. November 6 we party!” Chandler confirmed on Twitter.
So, how is this possible given New York’s seemingly hard-line stance on the matter?
Well, it seems that there are certain exemptions to the state’s rules that might apply to Chandler in this instance:
“A nonresident professional athlete/sports team who enters a covered premises as part of their regular employment for purposes of competing; and
A nonresident individual accompanying a performing artist or professional athlete/sports team into a covered premises as part of their regular employment so long as the performing artist or professional athlete/sports team are performing or competing in the covered premises.”
Of course with the NYC event not official yet it could also be that the UFC would look to host it elsewhere, particularly as Dana White has previously gone on record stating that he won’t force any fighter to be vaccinated.