Justin Gaethje Outlines ‘Perfect Situation’ Following UFC 300, Interested In November Lightweight Title Shot

Despite his interest in the lightweight title, BMF belt holder Justin Gaethje expressed his contentment with the promotion’s potential decision to use a different UFC 300 matchup to determine the division’s next challenger.

This Saturday at UFC 300, Gaethje is set to square off with the number 2 ranked featherweight Max Holloway, who is making the move up to 155-pounds. While this is an enticing and unexpected matchup, many are being judgmental of it disrupting the order of things with regard to who will get the next opportunity to challenge for Islam Makhachev’s lightweight crown.

With 2023 wins over Rafael Fiziev and Dustin Poirier, it is obvious that “The Highlight” is in the championship title conversation. But, by the sound of things, Gaethje is not thrilled about the potential timeline that goes along with being decided as the next challenger. Instead, he has a different timeline in mind.

“Ideally, they’re calling this Oliveira-Tsarukyan fight a title eliminator, so the winner of that fight fights (Makhachev) in June, then I fight the winner of that in preferably Madison Square Garden in November,” Gaethje told MMA Junkie. “That sounds like a perfect timeline for me. I’ll definitely have my time to rest, recovery and retrain myself to get ready for that fight. That’s the perfect situation for me. We’ll see if Oliveira sh*ts the bed again. I think if Tsarukyan wins he takes it because they are calling this a title eliminator, so whoever wins is going to have to fight that fight.”

(h/t MMAJunkie.com)

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While only ever achieving interim lightweight titleholder status in the UFC, Gaethje first challenged for the 155-pound belt in 2020 versus Khabib Nurmagomedov. Despite a valiant effort, the challenger fell short in what would be the dominant Russian champion’s final match.

Following a decision victory in an all out war versus Michael Chandler in 2021, Gaethje got his chance to take another crack at things, as he faced Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight title at UFC 274. But, this was once again not Gaethje’s night, getting stuck in the Brazilian’s rear naked choke in just the first round.

With the idea of a title shot on the horizon, after a potential win at UFC 300, Gaethje seems to be taking a calculated approach. It shows a high level of experience to know not to rush into things. Additionally, it may reflect the fact that this could be his last opportunity to earn the lightweight UFC title, so naturally he is taking careful steps.

 

Full Interview:

Arman TsarukyanCharles OliveiraDustin PoirierIslam MakhachevJustin GaethjeMax HollowayMMAUFC