Justin Gaethje thinks the UFC Lightweight Championship fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev could be a barn burner, but he thinks it also has a chance of being a dud.
Oliveira vs. Makhachev will headline UFC 280 on October 22. The title fight will be held inside Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. Oliveira would’ve entered the fight as the UFC Lightweight Champion, but he was stripped of the gold one day before his UFC 274 fight with Gaethje due to missing championship weight. Oliveira defeated “The Highlight” via first-round submission.
Justin Gaethje Wonders How UFC 280 Headliner Pans Out
During an interview with MMAFighting, Gaethje discussed how Oliveira vs. Makhachev could end up playing out. The former interim UFC Lightweight Champion believes fans will either be in awe of the action on display in Abu Dhabi, or they’ll witness a snoozer.
“It could be an amazing fight, or it could be extremely boring,” Gaethje told MMA Fighting. “Makhachev probably wins by decision, but Oliveira’s been super impressive.”
“I think whoever is hanging out on their back foot is going to lose,” Gaethje said. “I don’t see Makhachev being on his back foot, and Charles is going to make it a point to not be on his back foot. But can Makhachev put him there? That’s going to be the biggest factor.”
Gaethje remains at the top of the heap in the 155-pound division. He holds the number three spot on the official UFC lightweight rankings. If Makhachev ends up defeating Oliveira, it may open the door for Gaethje a crack more in terms of getting another title opportunity since it would be a fresh matchup.