UFC 268: Gaethje vs Chandler odds and predictions
Jack Green makes his pick as Justin Gaethje takes on Michael Chandler in a hugely exciting match-up at UFC 268 in New York.
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Gaethje vs Chandler odds
UFC 268 features two huge title bouts, but this meeting of two of the UFC’s most exciting stars could easily be the fight of the night.
Justin Gaethje joined the UFC in July 2017 and quickly established himself as a fan favourite thanks to his all-action style.
After going 1-2 in his first three UFC fights, Gaethje strung together four incredible knockout wins over James Vick, Edson Barboza, Donald Cerrone and Tony Ferguson, winning the interim lightweight title with the final win of that quartet.
The American took on Khabib Nurmagomedov in a unification bout last October but saw his winning streak come to an end via a second-round submission, and he hasn’t fought since.
Now Gaethje returns to face Chandler, the former Bellator lightweight champion who made his UFC debut in January, beating Dan Hooker by first-round knockout.
That win earned Chandler a shot at the vacant lightweight belt, but he was stopped by Charles Oliveira by TKO in the second round.
Chandler now looks to get straight back into the title picture by beating Gaethje, but he’s the +175 underdog for this Saturday night showdown.
Gaethje vs Chandler prediction
This should be an incredible bout between two knockout artists who guarantee action every time they fight.
They’re also very similar in style. Both look to push forward relentlessly and deliver power shots, and both have wrestling backgrounds, meaning the threat of a takedown is always there.
Don’t expect this one to go to the mat, though. These fighters are almost certainly going to slug it out on the feet, and that bodes well for Gaethje.
The 32-year-old’s chin has proven to be much better than Chandler’s. Chandler has been knocked out four times in his career, while Gaethje has only been stopped twice, and he withstood an incredible amount of punishment on both occasions.
He should also be able to take advantage of Chandler’s wide stance with the use of one of his key weapons: his powerful leg kicks.
After a few cracks to the calf, it’s going to be very difficult for Chandler to walk Gaethje down, and the former interim champion is an incredibly difficult fighter to face on the back foot.
Gaethje’s not simply the brawler he was when he entered the UFC. Under Trevor Wittman’s coaching he’s become an intelligent striker with a great jab, and he should be able to outclass Chandler here.
A stoppage win for the UFC veteran looks the likeliest outcome, and it’s worth backing this one to finish inside the first two rounds.