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"First one to take a backward step is a timid soul" - Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje go back and forth in Twitter exchange

Justin Gaethje (left); Michael Chandler (right)
Justin Gaethje (left); Michael Chandler (right)
Johny Payne
SENIOR ANALYST

The war of words between Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje seems to have begun ahead of their fight at UFC 268.

Both Chandler and Gaethje are regarded as truly well-rounded MMA competitors. That said, they’re also known for their tendency to get into brawls and being unafraid of engaging in high-risk striking battles.

Time and again, they have showcased their willingness to eat a strike to land one, relentlessly pursuing the KO. Considering that, it isn’t all too surprising to see Michael Chandler seemingly propose that their upcoming fight ought to be a striking war.

'Iron' Mike has put forth an Instagram post suggesting that he and Gaethje could engage in a toe-to-toe striking-heavy fight at UFC 268. Chandler’s Instagram post featured a video of him hitting the mitts held by Sanford MMA co-founder and coach Henri Hooft.

The statement attached to Chandler's post read as follows:

“Back to work with the man @henrihooft. Brilliant with the basics. Can anybody spot the irony in this video? Someone made good on his promise... See you at the top!”

Justin Gaethje jibed at Michael Chandler in the comments section of the Instagram post. 'The Highlight' wrote:

“No irony. I need you to make it safe and sound to the cage so I can get my check and my title shot.”

Michael Chandler fired back at Justin Gaethje with the following comment:

“@justin_gaethje Good luck with both of those things. Meet me in the center. First one to take a backward step is a timid soul.”
Screenshot of the Instagram exchange between Chandler and Gaethje
Screenshot of the Instagram exchange between Chandler and Gaethje

Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje aim to return to their winning ways

Michael Chandler (left); Justin Gaethje (right)
Michael Chandler (left); Justin Gaethje (right)

Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler and former interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje are coming off losses in their most recent fights.

Michael Chandler’s last fight was a second-round TKO loss against Charles Oliveira in their fight for the vacant UFC lightweight title at UFC 262 in May 2021.

Meanwhile, Justin Gaethje’s most recent fight was a second-round submission loss against Khabib Nurmagomedov in their UFC lightweight title unification matchup at UFC 254 in October 2020.

Chandler and Gaethje are scheduled to fight each other in a lightweight bout at UFC 268 on November 6th, 2021. The bout’s winner could receive a shot at the UFC lightweight title or a No. 1 contender’s fight at the very least.

Edited by Avinash Tewari
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