Justin Gaethje believes he could knock out current UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev: “I’d have to fight the perfect fight”

By Fernando Quiles - March 30, 2023

Justin Gaethje believes that if he fights mistake-free against UFC Lightweight Champion Islam Makhachev, he can defeat him.

Gaethje is known for his exciting fighting style and knockout power, but Makhachev has built a reputation of being an elite grappler, who often avoids danger. The 155-pound kingpin did suffer one loss and it was via TKO, but that was back in 2015. Since that defeat to Adriano Martins, Makhachev has gone 12-0.

Justin Gaethje On Possible Islam Makhachev Fight

During an interview with TMZ Sports, Gaethje discussed a potential showdown with Makhachev.

“I think [Islam is] a hard fight for anybody. Just create damage. I’d have to fight the perfect fight,” Gaethje said. “I think I can knock him out. I think I can knock anybody out with the power that I possess.”

Back in 2020, Gaethje took on Makhachev’s close friend Khabib Nurmagomedov in a title unification fight. Nurmagomedov choked Gaethje out in the second round. “The Highlight” shared his take on the biggest difference between Islam Makhachev and Nurmagomedov.

“I think they’re very similar,” Gaethje said. “I think the biggest difference is Islam has been finished. He’s lost a fight. He’s been finished. So that aura of invincibility is there, but it’s not based on 100% facts like Khabib has, I think that’s the biggest factor, the biggest difference.”

Justin Gaethje is coming off a majority decision victory over Rafael Fiziev at UFC 286 earlier this month. After the fight, Gaethje told Daniel Cormier that he’s making one more run at the UFC Lightweight Championship, but he won’t be around much longer. “The Highlight” has since clarified that he hasn’t thought about retiring.

Gaethje is currently the number three-ranked UFC lightweight. Ahead of him are Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira, two fighters who Gaethje has lost to. Time will tell if the former interim UFC Lightweight Champion will get the opportunity to avenge those losses.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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