Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler agree on two things ahead of UFC 268: Fireworks and No. 1 contender stakes

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Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler agree on two things ahead of UFC 268: Fireworks and No. 1 contender stakes
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NEW YORK CITY – Although Justin Gaetheje and Michael Chandler will stand on opposite ends on Saturday night, their goals and expectations are the exact same.

The two UFC lightweight contenders have a scheduled showdown in the opening fight of the UFC 268 pay-per-view at Madison Square Garden. It’s a matchup that has many labeling it as a candidate for “Fight of the Night” and even “Fight of the Year.”

Both Gaethje (22-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) and Chandler (22-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) know exactly what they’re getting into and expect a second fourth of July celebration on Saturday.

“He fights the same as I do, fireworks from the beginning,” Gaethje told reporters at the UFC 268 press conference. “I know he’s going to try to finish it first round, but he’s going to turn into a wrestler real quick taking steps backwards. We’ll see who’s the b*tch when he starts shooting for legs.”

Chandler agreed with Gaethje’s assessment, but with an alternate ending.

“Everybody knows what happens when Michael Chandler steps in the cage, everyone knows what happens when Justin Gaethje steps in the cage,” Chandler said. “This is why we went the first fight of the night. We’re starting off with the fireworks, we’re starting off with a bang. Get your pay-per-view ordered early. Justin Gaethje goes out in one.”

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But apart from promising violent action, Gaethje and Chandler also see eye-to-eye when it comes down to what’s on the line on Saturday night. The two competitors expect the next title shot if victorious.

“Saturday night, me and Justin go after it and it’s the No. 1 contender fight,” Chandler said.

Just a day before at Wednesday’s media day, Gaethje also expressed he should be next in line if he were to get past Chandler.

“I already said it: If I don’t get the shot, we riot,” Gaethje said. “We go to war. I have to be biased when it comes to this. I’m not going to be around here for much longer, so if I were to get snubbed again then, yeah, I’d have to do something about it, whether that’s causing ruckus.”

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