MICHAEL CHANDLER will bid to earn a second crack at the UFC lightweight title against fellow fan favourite Justin Gaethje.
A 155lb barnburner between the recent title challengers is in the works for UFC 268, which is set to take place on November 6.
Madison Square Garden is slated to be the venue for the eagerly-anticipated showdown, which fans have been salivating over since Chandler joined the UFC last September.
The booking of Chandler vs Gaethje comes after the former accused ex-interim lightweight champion of ducking him.
Gaethje took exception to that notion, tweetando: “@MikeChandlerMMA is talking out of his a*s.
“I was waiting for the bout agreement 3 weeks into camp and wake up to news his daddy Dana gave him the shot.
“He’s been out of commission since the KO. What am I missing?
“I’m on vacay and this f***er is slandering my name. 3-4 vezes?”
I think Gaethje is a terrible match-up for him.
Eddie Alvarez on Michael Chandler fighting Justin Gaethje
Chandler, 35, hasn’t fought since coming up short in his maiden lightweight title fight against Charles Oliveira at UFC 262 em maio.
Gaethje, Enquanto isso, hasn’t set foot inside the octagon since losing to former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254 last October.
Chandler is champing at the bit to throw down with Gaethje, but the former Bellator star’s old foe Eddie Alvarez reckons the fight is a stylistic nightmare.
The former UFC lightweight champion told SunSport: ”eu acho que [Justin] Gaethje is a terrible match-up for him.
“And I think he should probably stay away from Gaethje. That’s not a good match-up for him.
“But we’ll see, homem. It’s really up to him and his desire. We’ll only know on fight night.”
Chandler versus Gaethje is set to serve as the co-main event of UFC 268, the promotion’s eleventh pay-per-view card of a busy 2021.
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A grudge match between bitter rivals Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington is set to be the event’s showpiece bout.
Usman and Covington, 34 e 33 respectivamente, took part in one of the most memorable title fights in recent history in December 2019.
The Nigerian Nightmare got the better of the divisive Covington that night at the T-Mobile Arena, scoring a sensational fifth-round TKO victory.