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"I Don't Want It" - UFC Star Refuses COVID-19 Vaccine, Puts Huge Upcoming Fight In Danger

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"I Don't Want It" - UFC Star Refuses COVID-19 Vaccine, Puts Huge Upcoming Fight In Danger

UFC star Michael Chandler won't be getting the COVID-19 vaccine and it could scupper his huge upcoming fight with Justin Gaethje.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine earlier this week and fighters can use it.

Chandler is currently being lined up to face Gaethje at UFC 268 in November, which will emanate from Madison Square Garden in New York City.

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio recently announced plans for proof of vaccination for indoor activities - which could hit UFC hard.

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Despite this, Chandler took to Twitter and told fans: "I don't want it. FDA approval or not. Real enough for you? I have no problem with people getting it. We all have a choice...this is mine."

The 35-year-old had previously said he was waiting until the vaccine was FDA approved and stressed he is not 'anti-vax' at all.

He explained on Instagram Live per MMA Junkie: "It's not that I'm anti-vax. It's not that I don't believe in the vaccine, necessarily. I'm just not going to get the vaccine until it's 100 percent FDA approved.

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"We've had hundreds of clinical trials, just like we had the vaccines that my son has had - measles and chickenpox and all of the vaccines that have been around for 100 years that have been proven.

"We shall see. I don't know what's going to happen."

Chandler failed to win the vacant lightweight title in his last fight, losing to Charles Oliveira (Image Credit: PA)
Chandler failed to win the vacant lightweight title in his last fight, losing to Charles Oliveira (Image Credit: PA)

UFC 268 is currently set to be headlined by a welterweight title clash between bitter rivals Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington.

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Chandler isn't convinced the event will be taking place at MSG if the current rules have to be followed.

He continued: "More than anything, the chances of the UFC being able to sell out Madison Square Garden with only people that are vaccinated really cuts down their ability to sell out Madison Square Garden So I don't really know.

"I think it calls into question if Madison Square Garden will actually happen, to be honest with you guys. The UFC is brilliant and geniuses at putting things together and putting their fights together. But as I said, I'm not anti-vaccine.

UFC 268 is set to be headlined by a rematch between Usman and Covington (Image Credit: PA)
UFC 268 is set to be headlined by a rematch between Usman and Covington (Image Credit: PA)
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"I think vaccines are effective. I think it's everybody's choice whether they want to take the vaccine. I won't be vaccinated by Nov. 6, so I won't be able to perform or entertain at Madison Square Garden. So we shall see."

UFC president Dana White recently explained none of his talent will be forced to get the vaccine.

"I think a lot of people are doing that, they're telling you in New York [City] you can't go into a restaurant or a gym unless you're vaccinated and can prove it and things like that," White stated. "Some people are getting fired if they don't get vaccinated.

"That's not going to happen here [in the UFC]. If you want to get vaccinated... get vaccinated. If you don't, that's your decision, your body."

Featured Image Credit: TMZ Sports & PA Images

Topics: Justin Gaethje, UFC

Daniel Marland
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