Justin Gaethje got the better of Michael Chandler in what many felt was a back and forth war at UFC 268. However Justin does not think the fight was all that competitive.
Fans knew what to expect when the UFC booked Gaethje and Chandler for UFC 269, and the fight delivered. It appeared to be a wild, back and forth brawl, with both men getting hurt, en route to Justin scoring a unanimous decision nod.
While it looked like both men were having success throughout the fight, Justin told ESPN that, outside of the first round, the bout was not competitive at all. Although he had a bit of a strange way of explaining why that was the case.
“I feel great. My leg’s a little messed up. Those kicks are no freaking joke, man. He landed some really heavy, hard kicks in that first round. But yeah man, it was great. After the first round, he did not touch me many times. I know it looked crazy, his antics really… it’s crazy, the human aspect that is in this sport, and him doing all those things is kind of gaining him points, and making it competitive in a way. Two and three were absolutely dominant rounds for me. I didn’t get hit much, or take much damage. I don’t count body shots, so that’s why I say that. He landed some good body shots too,” Gaethje said.
“The only way to make someone absolutely stop an organ or take away their ability to want to fight anymore, is kick them in the calf, leg, or knock them out, put them to sleep. It’s almost impossible, you don’t see many body shot… Not me anyways. They don’t count on me, I guess. I pay people in practice, if they (hurt me) with a body shot. You’re going to have to break a rib in order to have any type of effect.”
Justin Gaethje Is Glad It Was 3 Rounds
Some fans were wanting to see Justin Gaethje vs Michael Chandler being a five round fight, simply because of the action that was promised to occur. In the end, it was a three rounder, that was eventually moved to the opening slot on the PPV.
Justin says that he is glad this was a three round fight, for Chandler’s sake. He says that he was dishing out some serious damage, and Michael was taking it all, so he was glad that Chandler did not have ten more minutes to absorb those strikes.
“It’s what this sport is, it’s inspiring. Not often or ever do people get to beat me in the inspirational department, in that cage or in there, and Michael Chandler did that, and I’m so happy that he’s getting the recognition for that. His ability that we all have, to just make a choice. He made a choice that he just was not going to give in or give up, and it wasn’t smart. His body, numerous times, tried to give him the way out, so that he didn’t have to take the damage that he ultimately incurred,” Gaethje said.
“Thank god it wasn’t five rounds. Some people roll with shots, Tony Ferguson rolls with shots and he doesn’t absorb all of the energy that I’m creating. Michael Chandler was a brick wall. Every time I hit him, it felt like I was hitting a wall, and he absorbed and took so much energy and damage, that yeah, I’m glad it wasn’t longer.”
Sorry For The Leg Kicks
Over the course of career, Justin Gaethje has been known for one major thing, outside of his tendency to have insane fights. He is one of the few fighters to have multiple finishes in his career, due to leg kicks.
The tables were turned a bit in this fight with Chandler, as Michael landed some hard kicks on Justin. Now that he is getting a taste of his own medicine, Justin says that he is sorry for those whose legs he kicked.
“Both of our legs are so jacked up, for sure. There’s no doubt about it. Mine’s getting better day by day. I’ve never been kicked like this, this consistently in the same spot. I know I’ve done this to so many people, but man, do I feel bad for them because it f—king hurts bad,” Gaethje said.
What did you think of Justin Gaethje vs Michael Chandler? Do you think Justin dominated the fight?