A few weeks back, Justin Gaethje believed he was training for a bout against UFC newcomer, Michael Chandler. This was until news broke that Chandler would instead be facing Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title and Gaethje was left without an opponent.
Gaethje was originally planning on fighting Chandler on May 15th, so he is not only hoping for a fight, but he is hoping for one sooner rather than later. However, with Conor McGregor booked to rematch Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson set to face Beneil Dariush, it leaves Justin Gaethje eager to earn another shot at the title without a clear dance partner.
Speaking to Brett Okamoto of ESPN MMA, Gaethje’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, discussed what could potentially be next for the former interim champion:
“One fight, as a fan, I know he’s tough and will take a fight on short notice, I think Paul Felder versus Justin Gaethje is a fun fight,” Abdelaziz said.
“But I don’t think the ranking makes sense, maybe it doesn’t make sense for the UFC and Sean. I respect the UFC for doing that but for fun, for the fans, Gaethje versus Felder is a good fight.”
Paul Felder is coming off a split decision loss to former lightweight champion, Rafael Dos Anjos. He took the fight on a few days notice, and is hoping to stay in the mix for a big name fight, as he currently sits at #10 in the division.
It’ll be interesting to see what’s next for Gaethje, who is desperate to become the undisputed champion. Other names in the mix could include: Islam Makhachev, Rafael Dos Anjos and Dan Hooker. Failing that, he may wait to see how the upcoming lightweight bouts play out in the coming weeks and months.
- Ali Abdelaziz on Tony Ferguson: “I think it’s going to be the last fight of his career.”
- Aleksandar Rakic ‘motivated’ and ‘excited’ for Jiri Prochazka: “This fight makes sense.”
- Covington on Nick Diaz: “Everybody knows he’s coming back for a cash grab. He’s washed up.”
- Ali Abdelaziz wants Gaethje versus Felder: “For fun, for the fans.”
- Beneil Dariush on Tony Ferguson: “He’s either #1 or #2 as the greatest lightweights of all time.”