Justin Gaethje remains hell-bent on capturing the UFC’s undisputed lightweight gold before all is said and done.
An interim title fell into the possession of the man known as ‘The Highlight’ after Tony Ferguson dismantled an empty arena in May 2020. Gaethje’s stunning technique to a fifth-round TKO won him the interim title and led to a showdown in October with then-unbeaten king of the division Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Three years later, 34-year-old Gaethje is back in a title fight of a completely different kind. UFC 291 takes place Saturday night in Salt Lake City, Utah, where Gaithi faces Dustin Poirier for the revived Baddest Motherf (BMF) belt. A win for either fan favorite makes him the next likely contender for the undisputed winner in the next mile between defending champion Islam Makhachev and number one contender Charles Oliveira. So the question remains: Who has the best chance of beating Mahmy Nurmagomedov’s near-perfect 24-1 in Makhachev?
“If we move away from what we know it will be [Alexander] “Volkanovski because he actually fought him and it was a really close fight,” said Gaethje. Shakil Mahjouri. “I never fought him, Poirier never fought him. I think if you had to tell anyone, it could be the 125lb champ (Alexander Pantoja). Who kicked him out? [Brendan Schaub] … I made fun of him a lot.
“I think Volkanovski is the answer for now, but I can’t wait to get there. I know for a fact that he’s not Khabib and I want to go out and prove it.”
Makhachev’s only professional loss came in his second UFC appearance in 2015 against Adriano Martins (not Pantoja as Schaub believes). Since then, it has been nothing but absolute dominance from Makhachev until his champion vs. classic with featherweight champ Volkanovski this past February. Makhachev successfully won his first title defense via unanimous decision.
That show made it official Makhachev vs. Oliveira 2 last week at UFC 294 in October, leaving the Poirier vs. Gaethje 2 winner with a post-victory waiting period. In the end, Gaethje suspects he would have turned around at that point had he been asked to do it all this weekend.
“The UFC will not protect you,” Gaethje said. “It’s just the name of the game. You have to take time between these encounters. Not just the fights, but the bootcamp we just went through. I just had 12 weeks of training. Very stressful, six days a week, and your body is breaking down. It’s something you have to really focus on, he understands that you have to go through the healing process every time you go in.”
“The physical side, but I would even say the mental side, is a painful life experience every time you step in. And you really have to take time to recover every time you do that.”
debate. Shal Sonnen says Israel is done with Jon Jones: Adesanya: ‘You’re not one of the greats’
link. Paul Craig calls out Bo Nickel after UFC London win: ‘No one wants to fight him’
bounce Giuliana Pena explains Raquel Pennington’s grudge dating back to talking trash on TUF 18: ‘I haven’t forgotten’
heavy weight. Jon Jones and Cyril Jain answer calls from Tom Aspinall at UFC London
results. Alan Belcher defeats Chase D’Amore in a chaotic disaster at Misfits Boxing 8
to update. New UFC 291 main card revealed featuring Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje 2 for the BMF title
Transit. ‘It’s my favorite project’: Brazilian actress and comedian Samantha Schmutz stars in MMA movie
Spain. Elia Topuria explains his relationship with soccer star Sergio Ramos, and believes the UFC may sell Real Madrid’s stadium
strange. NichLMAO wins four survivor tag team matches at Misfits Boxing 8
Hopes. Colby Covington Wants Leon Edwards At UFC 295, Says Dustin Poirier And Khamzat Chimaev
UFC London Post Show.
UFC 291 countdown.
Razin’s Confessions 128.
Disadvantages and rights of “Wonderboy”.
Don’t you love it when you know the fight is going to be cool? It’s one of those fight weeks, guys.
Thanks for reading!
Last week’s results:
Friday: 75% of the 563 total votes answered “Dricus Du Plessis” to the question “Which fight interest you most for Israel Adesanya?” »
Thursday: 88% of the 363 total votes answered “Tom Aspinall” when asked “Who’s going to win this weekend?” Aspinall defeated Marcin Tybura via first-round TKO (punches) at 1:13 in the main event of UFC London.
Wednesday: 60% of the 657 total votes answered “No” to the question “Did Nate Diaz’s loss to Jack Paul hurt his chances of returning to the UFC?” »
Tuesday: I accidentally doubled Thursday’s vote here. Shame.
Monday: 83% of the total 422 respondents answered “yes” to the question “Do you agree with Eddie Hearn?”
Today’s exit poll:
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