Michael Chandler admits he’s got no intention of getting vaccinated.
The former three-time Bellator lightweight champion is due to square off against Justin Gaethje in the co-main event at UFC 268 which is expected to take place at Madison Square Garden in New York on November 6.
Unfortunately, the exciting 155lb match-up seems to be in jeopardy. New York has recently introduced a new mandate that will require people to prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19 before attending entertainment events – that includes fighting at events too.
Chandler previously said he wouldn’t be vaccinated by November 6 and insisted he would not get the jab until it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
“It’s not that I’m anti-vax. It’s not that I don’t believe in the vaccine, necessarily. I’m just not going to get the vaccine until it’s 100 percent FDA approved,” Chandler explained on Instagram Live. “We’ve had hundreds of clinical trials, just like we had the vaccines that my son has had – measles and chickenpox and all of the vaccines that have been around for 100 years that have been proven. We shall see. I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“More than anything, the chances of the UFC being able to sell out Madison Square Garden with only people that are vaccinated really cuts down their ability to sell out Madison Square Garden,” Chandler continued. “So I don’t really know. I think it calls into question if Madison Square Garden will actually happen, to be honest with you guys. The UFC is brilliant and geniuses at putting things together and putting their fights together. But as I said, I’m not anti-vaccine. I think vaccines are effective. I think it’s everybody’s choice whether they want to take the vaccine. I won’t be vaccinated by Nov. 6, so I won’t be able to perform or entertain at Madison Square Garden. So we shall see.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)
On Monday, the FDA approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.
A fan put the news to Chandler who revealed he would still not be getting it.
“I don’t want it. FDA approval or not,” Chandler replied. “Real enough for you? I have no problem with people getting it. We all have a choice…this is mine.”
Do you expect Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler to be relocated?