‘I Get to Knock the Dude Out’- Justin Gaethje Ridicules Michael Chandler for Taking His Title Fight Spot

Published 09/02/2021, 2:30 PM EDT
DALLAS, TX – MAY 12: Justin Gaethje speaks to the media during the UFC Summer Kickoff Press Conference at the American Airlines Center on May 12, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Former UFC interim lightweight champion, Justin Gaethje, sent a loud and clear message to veteran Michael Chandler during his recent interview with MMA on SiriusXM. Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate also joined him on the show.

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The striking behemoth gave insights on his newest contract signing. He revealed he will get more money from this contract and also gave his opinion about Chandler getting a title opportunity so soon.

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“I’m ranked 2 right now and I’m coming off a loss with the guy (Khabib) retiring after he beat me… they made the title shot with Chandler and Oliveira,” Gaethje said. “You know, I can’t say so much if Oliveira shouldn’t have been there… the guy has been there forever. But Chandler should never have been there in that fight (at UFC 262).

“I was a little bitter about that. And ultimately, I’m happy that I get to knock the dude out that took my spot. So, yeah, this is a good opportunity for me,” he added.

As mentioned above, Gaethje last featured in a match against Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov at UFC 254. He lost the title unification fight to the Dagestani native via triangle choke. Immediately after the fight, Khabib took a call on his career and retired from the game.

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Chandler fought Oliveira for the lightweight title after knocking Dan Hooker in his previous fight. After getting some initial success, he got knocked out by Oliveira and thus lost the title fight.

Justin Gaethje terms lightweight division as the ‘laughing stock of the UFC’

Gaethje has been skeptical about the current state of UFC’s lightweight division. According to him, the quality has gone down since Khabib‘s retirement.

“I was pissed off at the time,” he said. “I thought this was the most coveted title in the UFC when Khabib was around, and it turned into almost the laughingstock of the UFC overnight.”

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: (L-R) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia kicks Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“When you have Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler fighting each other for the title, to be the best — those two weren’t best. It was me and [Dustin] Poirier. That should have happened,” he added. (via bloodyelbow)

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It will be interesting how Gaethje fares against a similar striking giant as Chandler. He could still face Poirier in a rematch, provided both of them win their next respective fight.

What did you make of Gaethje’s comments on Chandler? Let us know.

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

552 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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