UFC free fight: Justin Gaethje survives early onslaught from Michael Chandler to win MMA Junkie’s 2021 Fight of the Year

Justin Gaethje is no stranger to action-packed fights, but what he delivered to the MMA world was just something else.

Back in November 2021, Gaethje and former Bellator champion Michael Chandler opened up the pay-per-view main card for UFC 268 and that night in Madison Square Garden both men delivered pure violence. Gaethje had to go through some rough times early in the fight, but he rallied back to outpoint Gaethje in what would become MMA Junkie’s Fight of the Year for 2021.

You can rewatch the madness in the video above.


UFC 291: Make your predictions for Poirier vs. Gaethje 2 'BMF' fight, Blachowicz-Pereira

Video: UFC 291 'Countdown' for Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje 2 'BMF' title fight in Salt Lake City

Gaethje returns this weekend in the main event of UFC 291 at Delta Center in Salt Lake City. He takes on Dustin Poirier in a highly anticipated rematch for the BMF title, which was previously held by Jorge Masvidal.

Gaethje (24-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) is coming off a majority decision win over Rafael Fiziev in March at UFC 286. He’s 2-2 in his past four fights, with both defeats coming in lightweight title fights. Gaethje is 6-2 since fighting Poirier in 2018.

Poirier (29-7 MMA, 21-6 UFC) also just happens to be 6-2 since fighting Gaethje. Oddly enough, Poirier also lost to the same two people in that span – Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira.

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For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 291.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie