Michael Chandler enjoyed sharing the Octagon with Justin Gaethje at UFC 268 on Saturday night but acknowledged he could have made better decisions in the fight.
Chandler and Gaethje were involved in a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate that had near fight-ending finishes from both men over the course of three rounds. ‘Iron’ wobbled ‘The Highlight’ in the first round with a heavy right hand and pushed forward with a barrage of punches to get the stoppage, but Gaethje did not go down. The No. 2 ranked lightweight contender fired back and continued to do so throughout the second round, where he launched an uppercut from hell that sent Chandler to the canvas.
From that moment on, Gaethje remained composed and kept battering his opponent with punches and leg kicks that were causing a lot of damage as evidenced by a now bloodied Chandler. He was game though, and stayed in the face of Gaethje until the horn signifying the end of the fight sounded. After 15 minutes of pure chaos, Gaethje won via unanimous decision and handed Chandler his second consecutive loss this year.
Chandler has addressed the loss to Gaethje on Instagram and appears to be in good spirits following his stunning performance.
“We made some questionable decisions in the last one, but we had a blast!,” wrote Chandler. “Ill-advised yet entertaining is my strong suit. What a great camp we had at [Sanford MMA]. Huge thank you to my coaches and training partners. So happy to be home with [Brie Chandler] and Hapman.
“To the fans: I appreciate your guys’ support on this journey,” continued Chandler. “The best is yet to come! See you at the top!”
Chandler has already planned his eventual return by suggesting a fight against Conor McGregor next year. McGregor did not take long to respond to the one-time title challenger and expressed mutual interest in a potential meeting at some point.
Chandler is now 1-2 in the UFC, having also lost to Charles Oliveira for the then-vacant lightweight championship at UFC 262 this past May.
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