UFC lightweight contender Justin Gaethje has revealed when he will return next.
‘The Highlight’ has been out of action since his lightweight title fight with Charles Oliveira in May. Prior to the fight itself, the Brazilian missed weight, meaning the title was only on the line for Gaethje. Unfortunately, he was submitted in round one, ending his title chances.
Since that time, the lightweight has been quiet as to a return. The 155-pound division has no shortage of massive matchups in the next few months. Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev are the most important, as the division will now have a champion after UFC 280.
There’s no doubt that Justin Gaethje will have his eyes on the winner of that matchup. Although, he knows that it’s not going to be easy, and he’ll have to rack up some wins in the octagon first. In an interview with MMAFighting, Gaethje discussed his return to the cage.
There, the lightweight contender revealed that he was getting nose surgery. Due to that, Gaethje has been forced on the sidelines for the rest of the year. However, he plans to return to the octagon early next year, and work his way back to the top.
“I told them next year,” Gaethje said. “I’m starting to work out now, I’m back in a regular routine. One thing we have over other sports is that the body is resilient, but you have to give it time. I got hit really hard, I had a hard camp, and I wanted to take a break. It was nice that I got my nose fixed.” (h/t MMAFighting)
He continued, “They got a fight for the title [at UFC 280], so somebody’s got to fight the loser. Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier are going to fight, somebody’s got to fight the winner. I’ll be ready next year, ideally in January, February, or March, whatever they want to do. I’m not sure when Kamaru [Usman] is going to London [for the Leon Edwards rematch], but I wouldn’t mind fighting in London.”
He concluded, “Ultimately, my goal is to be the world champion. I like to follow the correct process so I think I need two wins, possibly three, hopefully it will be two — two knockouts in the first round — that gets you right back into title contention. As soon as I don’t believe, or I don’t have the confidence that I can be the best in the world, then I have no reason to keep going.”