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Justin Gaethje punches Michael Chandler in their lightweight bout during the UFC 268 event at Madison Square Garden on November 06, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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President’s Choice – Justin Gaethje vs Michael Chandler

In honor of President's Day, we take a look back at some of the latest and greatest UFC moments, chosen by UFC president Dana White.

In honor of President's Day, we take a look back at some of the latest and greatest UFC moments, chosen by UFC president Dana White.

In honor of President's Day, we take a look back at some of the latest and greatest UFC moments, chosen by UFC president Dana White.

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Three months on from their UFC 268 main card meeting, the bout between Justin Gaethje still inspires wonder. How did this fight go the full three rounds? How did both men walk out with only the most minor of bumps and bruises? How did I just hold my breath for 15 full minutes?

Free Fight: Justin Gaethje vs Michael Chandler | Dana White's Favorite Fight of 2021
Free Fight: Justin Gaethje vs Michael Chandler | Dana White's Favorite Fight of 2021
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If you were lucky enough to be inside Madison Square Garden for this fight, there was one very tangible clue of how thrilling this lightweight war was, and it was in the fight that followed.

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Shane Burgos vs Billy Quarantillo followed Gaethje vs Chandler and proceeded to put on three incredible rounds of their own. On any night on any other fight card, the battle would have easily been Fight of the Night. But the crowd at MSG was still collectively recovering from their Chandler vs Gaethje hangover and was unable to muster the enthusiasm the fight deserved. It was almost as if Gaethje vs Chandler had sucked all the life out of us, at least for a few minutes.

Both men demonstrated their reputations for leaving it all in the Octagon in the see-saw, back and forth battle of haymakers and momentum-shifts. As UFC.com writer Thomas Gerbasi wrote that evening, he saw “each man swinging hammers from start to finish, trading massive blows that left each man bruised, battered, and smiling like psychopaths.”

The bout was a runaway winner for 2021’s Fight of the Year on most lists, including the UFC’s and Dana White’s. Take 15 a few minutes, kick back and watch it again to remember why.