Justin Gaethje opens up on hospital reunion with Michael Chandler after UFC 268

Gaethje and Chandler put on a Fight of the Year contender last weekend at UFC 268 with both men being transported to a local hospital in New York after the fight

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Justin Gaethje has recalled the conversation he had with Michael Chandler in hospital after their UFC 268 fight.

Gaethje and Chandler put on one of the best three-round fights in recent years with Gaethje earning the win by unanimous decision.

It was Gaethje’s first win since being submitted by now-retired UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov in their title fight last October.

Both fighters were taken to a local hospital in New York for precautionary scans given the damage inflicted in their clash.

And Gaethje revealed Chandler was still walking around in the hospital despite his face being battered and bruised.

“We had a brief conversation. He’s so f****** tough, he was walking around, standing up and I was like ‘dude, sit the f*** down, let’s check all pride right now and take care of our bodies’,” he told MMA Junkie.

Justin Gaethje outpointed Michael Chandler at UFC 268


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“Ultimately the damage he took was exponential. I’m so thankful it wasn’t five rounds, I had him figured out after five minutes in that fight.”

Whilst Gaethje absorbed less damage in the fight and wasn’t as badly beaten as Chandler, he was still forced by the UFC to visit the hospital.

And ‘The Highlight’ didn’t argue with the promotion about their decision but made sure the hospital knew he wasn’t suffering after the barnburner fight.

“There’s no arguing. Once they say you go, you go. It’s like once the cop says you’re in handcuffs and you’re getting in the back of my car, at that point you don’t fight anymore,” he continued.

“I argued when I got to the hospital, I was like ‘do you need to hear my debit card number right now, my Colorado driver’s licence number, I’ve got all this stored in my head, if you need to know it i can tell it to you.’

“I did not suffer the brain damage like it looked. It looked like chaos, but he didn’t touch after three minutes of the first round, he didn’t touch me. So I felt great.”

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Chandler now finds himself 1-2 in the UFC with back-to-back losses against Gaethje and current champion Charles Oliveira.

It’s a familiar position for Gaethje, who was also 1-2 at the start of his UFC career but went on to turn his losing form around.

And he has backed the “warrior” Chandler to do the same.

“The only source of information is yourself, if you’re looking for outside information, you’re done. There’s no coming back,” he continued.

“He’s a warrior and he’s not done. You’ve got to go home, look at yourself in the mirror and believe in the process.

“I’ve been worse and I’ve never felt better. He’s been better, probably never felt worse. It just sucks, it’s a crazy game.”

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