Former UFC lightweight champion and current ONE Championship lightweight contender, Eddie Alvarez, has offered his thoughts on the likely matchup between ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler and Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje following Chandler’s unsuccessful attempt to claim the UFC lightweight title from Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira at UFC 262.
Despite both fighters suffering losses in their most recent title fights, UFC President Dana White still appears keen to match Chandler and Gaethje together, possibly as a title eliminator matchup. One man who has faced them both is Eddie Alvarez. Both of his Bellator encounters with Chandler were legendary in their own right, whilst his brutal slugfest with Gaethje at UFC 218 was a strong Fight of The Year contender.
Speaking to Chisanga Malata, Alvarez offered his two cents on their potential fight, he said. “I think Gaethje is a terrible match-up for him, and I think he should probably stay away from Gaethje. That’s not a good matchup for him. But we’ll see, man. It’s really up to him and his desire. We’ll only know on fight night.”
Alvarez does make an interesting point. Whilst Michael Chandler is as tough as they come (proving that in the first round against Charles Oliveira), Gaethje is violence personified. He loves the stand-and-bang, rock-em sock-em approach, and he has world class amateur wrestling as well, so it’s very clear that this would be no simple, bloodless affair for Michael Chandler.
Ultimately though, as Alvarez himself said, it all comes down to fight night. And there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that there is not a fighter alive more qualified to produce such an opinion than Eddie Alvarez; he managed to overcome Chandler in their second match-up at Bellator 106, and he managed to get a TKO finish over one of the toughest fighters on the planet at UFC 218, who’s only other losses were to Dustin Poirier and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
This fight will undoubtedly be a wild affair, and it is extremely interesting to consider how it will turn out if it does eventually occur. One thing is for sure though – neither fighter is going to take a step backward, and both fighters will leave it all in the Octagon come what may.
Do you agree with Eddie Alvarez? Is Justin Gaethje a terrible match-up for Michael Chandler?