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When UFC lightweights Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler and Gregor Gillespie competed in same bracket at 2009 NCAA Championships

UFC lightweight contenders Michael Chandler (left), Justin Gaethje (center), and Gregor Gillespie (right)
UFC lightweight contenders Michael Chandler (left), Justin Gaethje (center), and Gregor Gillespie (right)
Dominic Richard

Twelve years ago, Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler and Gregor Gillespie competed in the same bracket at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) wrestling championships.

In 2009, Gaethje represented the University of Northern Colorado, while Chandler suited up for the University of Missouri and Gillespie competed as part of Edinboro University's team.

Still crazy to think Michael Chandler, @Benaskren and @TWooodley all wrestled together at Missouri. #Bellator243

Gaethje lost his first bout, while both Chandler and 'The Fisherman' made it into the top-10 spots.

Gregor Gillespie then defeated Michael Chandler 10-2 later in the tournament. He finished fourth overall in the 157-pounds category of Division I, while Chandler placed sixth.

Here's the bracket involving Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler and Gregor Gillespie at the 2009 NCAA Championships:

Michael Chandler (#6) and Gregor Gillespie (#4) can be seen in this section
Michael Chandler (#6) and Gregor Gillespie (#4) can be seen in this section
Justin Gaethje made a very early exit from the tournament
Justin Gaethje made a very early exit from the tournament

Gaethje, Chandler and Gillespie are currently ranked two, four and ten in the UFC lightweight division rankings, respectively.


Gregor Gillespie may face Arman Tsarukyan early next year, while Justin Gaethje will fight Michael Chandler at UFC 268

No.13-ranked lightweight contender Arman Tsarukyan took to Instagram to say that he had been offered a fight against Gregor Gillespie in the first quarter of 2022. However, the UFC still hasn't confirmed the matchup between the two ranked lightweight stars.

The 25-year-old Armenian-Russian Tsarukyan defeated Christos Giagos via TKO in the first round at UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Spann last month.

Meanwhile, Gillespie, 34, returned to the octagon after just over 18 months - in May 2021. He took on No.11-ranked Carlos Diego Ferreira at UFC on ESPN: Rodriguez vs. Waterson. He won the encounter via TKO in the second round.

Arman Tsarukyan holds a 17-2 record in his MMA career so far, while Gregor Gillespie is 14-1.

"UFC has offered me a fight with Gillespie early next year. I said yes. But Fisher hasn't answered yet! Guys help him make up his mind faster," said Tsarukyan.

Here's Arman Tsarukyan's Instagram post:

The second-last UFC pay-per-view of the year has a lot for MMA fans. At UFC 268 on November 6, Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler will square off in a potential title eliminator clash. The fight promises fireworks, given the exciting pace and style of both combatants.

Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler are both known for their incredible power and entertaining styles. This bout has all the makings of a potential Fight of the Year contender or even a highlight-reel knockout finish in the early rounds.


Edited by Utathya Ghosh

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