Former interim UFC lightweight champion, Justin Gaethje is likely guaranteed the next shot at undisputed gold – in May of next year according to his manager, Ali Abdelaziz. And the #2 ranked contender, plans to immediately enter the Octagon tomorrow night following the culmination of the UFC 269 headliner between Charles Oliveira, and Dustin Poirier.
Gaethje, a former interim lightweight champion, rebounded from his title unification loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov back in October of last year, in November at Madison Square Garden – taking home a unanimous decision victory against Michael Chandler in a Fight of the Year contender.
The Aurora native has also received the seal of approval from promotional president, Dana White as the next challenger following the aforenoted, Poirier’s pursuit of Saturday – with February headliners, the #3 ranked, Beneil Dariush, and the #4 rated, Islam Makhachev expected to challenge for gold afterwards.
Speaking during the UFC 269 weigh-in show, Gaethje claimed he would do everything in his power to enter the Octagon tomorrow night in order to immediately confront the victor of the main event between Oliveira, and past opponent, Poirier.
“I wasn’t going to miss it, I would not miss it,” Gaethje said. “Especially with the implications, with Dana (White) saying I’m fighting the winner – I’m here. I want it to be old school, Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz. I wanna get in the ring after. Elliott better bring a couple men after to stop me doing that, so. UFC security better bring an army to stop me – just to go in and say, ‘What’s up? Let’s do this.’”
A past opponent of Poirier, Gaethje suffered an eventual fourth round knockout loss to his fellow former interim titleholder in the headliner of UFC Fight Night Glendale back in July 2018.
Whilst yet to share the Octagon with Sao Paulo grappling standout, Oliveira, Gaethje has been quite vocal in his opinion of the Brazilian, questioning the champion’s heart and will to continue when under the cosh.
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