UFC 268 Predictions: Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler fight breakdown, betting odds 1

This fight is going to be fun! Gaethje is the #2 ranked lightweight in the UFC. Professionally, he is 22-3 with 19 knockout wins. Chandler, currently ranked #4, is 22-6 professionally and 17 of his 22 wins have come by finish.

This Saturday’s UFC 268 event is pay-per-view only and that means fans can only watch the two title fights and the stacked main card live in the United States by ordering the event via the official ESPN+ website here.

Gaethje vs. Chandler betting odds

Gaethje is a little more than a 2:1 favorite over Chandler

  • Gaethje: -210
  • Chandler: +170

Gaethje vs. Chandler fight breakdown

Gaethje is an animal. He pushes an absurd pace, has thunderous power, and, despite two knockout losses, has an impressive chin. Gaethje is known, appropriately so, as a power puncher. He is notorious for a bomb of an overhand right that can turn the lights off in an instant. But, he is a much better fighter than just a right hand. Gaethje pressures his opponent from the first moment of the fight. He walks forward, pumping his jab and landing cracking leg kicks. He averages an overwhelming 7.4 significant strikes per minute. His pressure is tactical and strategic. Gaethje’s “Trevor Wittman” jab and snapping leg kicks are designed to pester his opponent as well as hurt them. Once he pressures forward, his opponent will eventually look to evade his jab or leg kick. From there, he can land a devastating overhand right or a shot to his opponent’s liver. Because he is always moving forward, Gaethje eats a lot of shots – nearly eight significant strikes per minute. His granite chin allows Gaethje to absorb the strikes and land harder in return. His biggest weakness, early in his career, was his fight IQ. Recently though, he’s responded well to coaching and has fought with more intelligence.

Coming into the UFC, I compared Chandler to Gaethje. Both are stout powerhouses with high-level wrestling backgrounds and a right hand that could strop a truck. Also, similar to Gaethje, Chandler puts the pressure on. He looks to move forward with a wide and low base that allows him to sit down on his punches or shoot a takedown. He averages 4.5 significant strikes per minute and 2 takedowns per fight. A wrestle boxer by nature, Chandler’s power, technique, and experience make him dangerous. He does have two flaws though. First, similar to Gaethje, Chandler can get into a firefight; and, even though his right hand can stop anyone in the division, he can be dropped himself. Chandler has been knocked out four times. Second, Chandler’s wide base and heavy front leg leave him vulnerable to leg kicks. But, when he can be the one to land first, he often lands heavy, and he can get the win in an instant.

Gaethje vs. Chandler prediction

Both fighters are eerily similar so handicapping the edge is subtle. I think to comes down to two key differences. First, Gaethje has a more reliable chin; so, when these two stand toe-to-toe, Gaethje is more likely to be the one left standing. Second, Gaethje’s leg kicks are shattering and Chandler’s stance makes him vulnerable. I like Gaethje to wear Chandler down in round one and finish it soon after.

Prediction: Gaethje by KO/TKO

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