Despite recent speculation that his UFC 268 potential lightweight title-eliminator against former interim gold holder Justin Gaethje may be in jeopardy, recent vacant title chaser, Michael Chandler appears to have signed his contract to meet with the Arizona favorite on November 6.

Chandler, who last featured at UFC 262 back in May, suffered a second round knockout loss against the surging, Charles Oliveira in a vacant lightweight title fight — dropping his first loss under the banner of the UFC following a January knockout win of his own against Dan Hooker on ‘Fight Island’.

The Sanford MMA mainstay was then linked with a showdown opposite former interim titleholder, Gaethje before the close of the year, with reports detailing how the promotion was targeting a pairing of the two to land on November 6. at UFC 268 — with Madison Square Garden in New York City tentatively earmarked as a potential venue for the pay-per-view event. 

However, Chandler himself cast doubt on a pairing with the ONX Labs mainstay, suggesting that the recently introduced COVID-19 vaccination mandate in New York City would prevent him from entering or competing at UFC 268, given the fact he would not be inoculated against the novel coronavirus in time for the event. 

The Missouri veteran remained coy about receiving a vaccination, stating that he would not consider vaccination until a vaccine had received full approval from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

When asked on Twitter earlier this week if he would receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine after it had received full FDA approval, Chandler insisted that he would not, “FDA approval or not” and how that was his choice to make.

I don’t want it,” Chandler tweeted in response. “FDA approval or not. Real enough for you? I have no problem with people getting it. We all have a choice… this is mine.

However, taking to his official Twitter account last night, Chandler claimed that he had signed his contract to meet with Gaethje and that they would “party” on November 6. at UFC 268.

Signed, sealed, delivered,” Michael Chandler tweeted. “November 6. we party!

The November pairing with Gaethje would mark the #4 ranked Chandler’s third Octagon appearance, while the #2 rated Gaethje would return for the first time since UFC 254 in October of last year, where the then-interim title holder failed to unify the crowns, suffering a rather one-sided second round triangle loss to the now-retired, Khabib Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi, UAE. 

UFC 268 takes place on November 6. with a welterweight championship rematch between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington scheduled to headline the pay-per-view event. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.