Michael Chandler is making no bones about it — he wants a fight with Justin Gaethje.
The two men have been linked together ever since Chandler arrived in the UFC, and after coming up short in a title fight with Charles Oliveira, Chandler believes that now more than ever, it makes sense for them to meet in the cage.
“Gaethje should be next. There’s no doubt about it,” Chandler said, speaking on an Instagram live. “There is no secret [Makhachev] and Gaethje both share the same management, so obviously that management would want to say, ‘Hey, throw Islam on the trail. Throw Islam on the Chandler trail so that it takes the heat off of Gaethje’.
“But Justin Gaethje: Come on, bro. You call yourself a fighter, and you are — you’re one of the most exciting guys in mixed martial arts. Be prepared to make a highlight or be made a highlight, because that’s what I am. That’s what I’m ready to do.”
According to Chandler, not only is Gaethje ignoring his presence, but has outright denied the fight on multiple occasions.
“I’ll tell you what, I’ve said Justin Gaethje’s name no less than 100 times since I’ve signed with the organization,” Chandler said. “He’s been asked to fight me three or four different times. 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 going to fight for the title. For some reason him and his camp have no interest in fighting me.
“So that’s the fight I want, that’s the fight I think it should be. Two of the best guys fighting. It’s also a fight that I know the fans want to see. I know that’s a fight you guys want to see, so that’s my hope, that’s my thought. And I don’t really get why we haven’t heard anything yet.”