Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler To Open UFC 268 PPV

The PPV portion of UFC 268 will look to start off in a violent way with Justin Gaethje v. Michael Chandler being the opening match in New York City.

Ariel Helwani reported on The MMA Hour that the bout order for UFC 268 was changed around. Gaethje v. Chandler will open the card, followed by Shane Burgos v. Billy Quarantillo, and then Frankie Edgar v. Marlon Vera. MMA Fighting would later confirm the news.

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The co-main event will be a rematch between UFC Strawweight Champion Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili. UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman will once again defend his title against Colby Covington in the main event inside Madison Square Garden.

Gaethje, a former interim UFC Lightweight Champion, made his pro debut in 2011. He started with an eighteen-fight win streak, which included five defenses of the WSOF Lightweight Title. Gaethje is 5-3 in the UFC, and at one point had four wins in a row via KO against James Vick, Edson Barboza, Donald Cerrone, and Tony Ferguson.

After beating Ferguson for the interim title, Gaethje would face Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254 for the UFC Lightweight Title. Gaethje lost via submission, which ended up being the last fight of Khabib's career.

Chandler came into the UFC as a former three-time Bellator Lightweight Champion. Making his debut in 2009, Chandler is tied for most fights (23) in Bellator history. After beating Benson Henderson in 2020, Chandler signed with the UFC.

In his debut at UFC 257, Chandler beat Dan Hooker via TKO. He then faced Charles Oliveira at UFC 262 for the UFC Lightweight Title. After almost beating Oliveira in round one, Oliveira would recover and win via TKO.

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