Justin Gaethje has some strong opinions about the upcoming UFC vacant lightweight title fight between former champion, Charles Oliveira, and top contender, Islam Makhachev. The bout is scheduled for Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi as the main event of UFC 280.
Gaethje spoke with various members of the MMA media during a guest fighter scrum at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Among the topics discussed were Gaethje’s thoughts on the highly-anticipated fight and a potential prediction as to how it might unfold.
Quotes were provided by MMAFighting.com.
“I’m 100 percent confident that Islam will not dominate Charles, and that’s about it,” Gaethje said. “I don’t know how to explain it, it’s just the way that I feel. The last time [I fought], I stepped in there with [Oliveira], there’s no way. It’s going to be a great fight. I wish I was there, I wish it wasn’t in Abu Dhabi so I can be there, but we’re all in for a treat.”
Justin Gaethje also believes that it will be difficult for Mahkachev to finish Oliveira as effortlessly as he has done in his previous fights. And having fought the former champion previously, it’s hard not to intelligently digest “The Highlight’s” words with confidence.
“I think Charles is going to move forward, Islam is going to try, and eventually, he might be successful,” he said. “If he is, he’ll win, but I don’t see him tiring him out. Even if he takes him down for the first two rounds, I don’t see Charles getting submitted, and I don’t see him being too exhausted to continue the fight that he needs to fight.”
Gaethje has competed for the lightweight title on two separate occasions during his UFC run thus far. He has also fought some of the best fighters that the sport has to offer, including Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler, and Eddie Alvarez.
Will Gaethje’s prediction come true in October? Let us know in the comments below, Penn Nation!