As he starts focusing on his eventual UFC debut, Michael Chandler has a preferred opponent in mind.
"That's a fight that I'd love for myself and for the fans," Chandler said. "It's a fight that scares me, it's a fight that gets me excited. It's a fight that—it gets your juices flowing. If you're a mixed martial arts fan, a UFC fan, you wanna see us step into the cage together."
Gaethje lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov via second-round submission at UFC 254 this past Saturday. UFC President Dana White thought enough of Chandler, who was a three-time lightweight champion in Bellator, to make him the backup in the event one of Gaethje or Nurmagomedov was unable to fight.
With Nurmagomedov retiring, the lightweight division is now wide open in UFC. A fight with Gaethje wasn't Chandler's only proposal. In an interview with BT Sport, he threw out staging a four-man tournament to crown a new champion:
Perhaps Chandler can talk his way into a marquee bout right out of the gate with his new promotion.