UFC 268: Michael Chandler predicts he will 'knock out' Justin Gaethje within three rounds

Michael Chandler predicts he will knock out Justin Gaethje at UFC 268 on November 6.

UFC star Michael Chandler admits that he is a fan of Justin Gaethje, but that won't stop him from trying to remove his head from his shoulders. 

The former title challengers will square off in a fight on American soil to earn the right to face Brazil's UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.

Oliveira (31-8, 1 NC) dropped and then stopped former Bellator lightweight champion Chandler to score a second-round technical knockout at the Toyota Center, Houston last time out in May in what was his first fight Stateside since he dominated Tony Ferguson over the course of five rounds at the UFC Apex back in December 2020. 

'Do Bronx' therefore captured the vacant lightweight championship previously held by none other than Khabib Nurmagomedov himself. 

And now Chandler will look to claw his way back into title contention against Gaethje at UFC 268 in New York on November 6.

The American MMA fighter also revealed his plans for his preparation for the meeting while talking to fans on Instagram on Friday. 

“Obviously his best weapon is his leg kicks, coupled with his cardio and his ability to just wing punches for 25 minutes or 15 minutes,” he said, as first reported by MMA Junkie. “I believe my strengths are high pace, high cardio, a lot of punches, being able to withstand damage, and continue to trod forward, and have a good fight.

"I honestly see the fight going very similar to Justin Gaethje vs. Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier.

“He lost both of those fights, but obviously I’m not underestimating Justin Gaethje."

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While Chandler admits he is excited by the prospect of fighting Gaethje, he believes it will come down to a battle of wills once they enter the Octagon on November 6. 

"I think he’s one of the best in the world, if not the best in the world if I’m being completely honest," the 35-year-old said.

"That excites me, kinda [sic] scares me, keeps me up at night, makes me want to wake up early and put together a great training camp.

"So I believe we stand in the middle and trade for 15 minutes, and we’ll see who goes down first.”

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Michael Chandler speaks to the media ahead of his fight at UFC 257 on Fight Island.

'Iron Mike' also sees a lot of himself in his fellow American as he prepares for his third UFC bout at Sanford MMA. 

In his 11-year professional career, Gaethje has knocked out 19 of his 25 opponents, earning him the nickname 'The Highlight'. His current record stands at 22 victories with 19 knockouts and 3 losses. 

“I do think I can knock him out,” he added. “He’s been knocked out in the past.

"He’s also weathered some crazy storms, so I think this fight is about patience, precision, poise, confidence and cardio, and I think I have all of those attributes.

"I also think Justin has all those attributes. I think both of us have been in some crazy fights, we both have proven that we can keep a high pace.

“I believe I knock him out in the third round just like Eddie Alvarez did, just like Dustin Poirier did. I think we get into a firefight, we stand toe to toe, we entertain you guys for 12 to 13 minutes, and I finish by TKO or clean KO in the third round.”

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