Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler preview and prediction

UFC 268: Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler match-up preview and fight prediction.

UFC 268 goes down this Saturday from Madison Square Garden in New York City. The feature bout of the card is a top-ranked lightweight match-up between former UFC interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, and the former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler.

Both fighters come into this match-up on Saturday coming off respective lightweight title fight losses. Chandler dropped his first UFC title opportunity to Charles Oliveira back in May at UFC 262 but has vowed to capture UFC gold before the end of his career.

Meanwhile, Gaethje is coming off a loss to the now-retired Khabib Nurmagomedov back at UFC 254 last year in Abu Dhabi. The fight was Khabib’s final UFC appearance and marked the first loss for Gaethje since getting knocked out by Dustin Poirier back in 2018.

Both fighters will look to bounce back in a big way, and put their names at the top of the list for lightweight title contention in 2022.

Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler prediction

Gaethje is 5-3 in the UFC since making his debut back in 2017. His only three losses are to former lightweight champions in Khabib, Poirier (interim), and Eddie Alvarez.

Prior to his most recent loss to Khabib, Gaethje put together a four-fight winning streak that was capped off with a spectacular performance against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249.

As for Chandler, the former Bellator titleholder is 6-2 in his last eight fights dating back to 2018, with his only losses coming to current UFC champion Oliveira and former Bellator lightweight champion Patricio Freire.

Chandler has fallen short in big fights as of late, with both of his most recent title fight losses coming after getting chin checked by his opponent. Both Gaethje and Chandler have had a knack for delivering exciting fights. In fact, Gaethje has not reached the judge’s scorecards in any of his UFC appearances, with all eight fights ending by way of stoppage.

It will be the first time that Gaethje is lined as the betting favorite since his 2019 win over Donald Cerrone, while Chandler will come in as the underdog for the third straight time in his UFC career.

While both fighters come into this match-up with extensive wrestling backgrounds, it’s highly unlikely that this fight plays out anywhere but on the feet. If this is the case, the edge in striking may be somewhat even. However, as his most recent losses would show, Chandler is unquestionably the less durable of the two fighters, and could easily find himself in some trouble against the hard-hitting human highlight in Gaethje.

With that in mind, it’s not very hard to come to the conclusion that Gaethje should put this one away early.

Prediction: Gaethje by 1st round KO.

UFC 268 takes place on Saturday, Nov. 6, live from Madison Square Garden, New York. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your news and highlights.

Source: FanSided

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