Former UFC interim champion Justin Gaethje is not a happy man. He is frustrated with Michael Chandler, who has claimed that Gaethje is ducking him on purpose.
Chandler, who is a newcomer in the organization, said in an Instagram live video that the Highlight was approached by his team at least thrice but he never responded.
On July 22, Gaethje tweeted: “@MikeChandlerMMA is talking out of his a**. 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***** is slandering my name. 3-4 times?”
@MikeChandlerMMA is talking out of his ass. 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 fucker is slandering my name. 3-4 times? 🤦♂️
— Justin Gaethje 🇺🇸 (@Justin_Gaethje) July 21, 2021
Both American fighters have made a name for themselves in other promotions as well. While Bellator laid the foundation for Chandler, World Series of Fighting was the perfect platform for the Highlight to showcase his talent.
But now that both martial artists are in the UFC, Gaethje has been displeased with UFC President Dana White for giving Chandler a title shot despite being a newcomer.
Before going toe-to-toe against Charles Oliviera at UFC 262, Iron Mike had only one UFC fight under his belt. He had defeated Dan Hooker in a one-sided contest on his UFC debut.
It was an odd matchup since Oliviera had fought for his place for more than a decade in the division.
Nonetheless, Do the Bronx came out as the winner and is now set to defend his title for the first time against fan-favorite Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier.
Is it Gaethje vs Chandler next?
Nothing would be more exciting to see the Highlight take on Iron Mike and settle their long feud inside the octagon.
Both fighters are coming off a loss. Chandler lost the title fight to Oliviera while Gaethje to Khabib Nurmagodemov in October 2020.
Let’s look at our options for the fight: Dana White is eager to hook them up for a showdown, Chandler is poised to fight Gaethje, but is the 32-year-old himself looking forward to the fight?
In a recent interview, Gaethje’s manager Ali Abdelaziz said that he is not interested in the fight. Aziz feels that the UFC newcomer doesn’t deserve to take on his fighter.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) July 18, 2021
This brings another lightweight into the picture: Beneil Dariush. The No. 3 ranked UFC lightweight has risen to fame after defeating Tony Ferguson in his last outing.
In the case of Justin Gaethje turns down the Chandler fight, there is no reason why the UFC would not book Dariush against Iron Mike.
Dariush is also one of the fighters who were in favor of the organization’s decision to make Chandler the No.1 contender along with Charles Oliviera when Nurmagomedov vacated the title.
He shared a similar stance as Gaethje that the 35-year-old hasn’t yet earned the opportunity to wear UFC gold around his strap.