Justin Gaethje has posted a photo on social media of himself and Michael Chandler in hospital following their brutal UFC 268 opener, and it’s easy to see just how much damage the former dealt on the latter during their three-round battle.
The pair went to war throughout their 15-minute fight in Madison Square Garden, with the fight going the distance after both battered each other over the three rounds in what many are calling one of the most violent fights in UFC history.
Gaethje won the fight following a split decision of 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27, and after embracing and receiving a collective standing ovation post-fight, both were sent straight to the ER for routine checks.
Both refused immediate medical attention post-fight, turning down stretchers and crutches before walking to ambulances under their own power.
Gaethje is said to have been vehemently checking on Chandler in his ambulance before the pair finally journeyed to the hospital for treatment.
It’s unknown at the time of writing the extent of the pair’s injuries, though, Chandler is shown in the photo with a busted up face and Gaethje with a busted lip.
Both took immense damage over the course of the fight, with brutal knee strikes and uppercuts almost ending the fight before the final bell could be reached.
Social media reaction to the photo and content has been almost as crazy as the fight itself, with fans marvelling at the brutality of the opening bout.
The fighters have since commented on the brutality since, with Gaethje saying: “I knew exactly what that motherf****** was. He is a warrior.”
He continued: “We are living in the wrong times. Me and him should have been fighting to the death in the f****** coliseum.”
While perhaps not ‘to the death’, the violence exhibited by Gaethje and Chandler at UFC 268 will have undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the fighters and fans for a long time.