Justin Gaethje sees Dustin Poirier as the logical next fight in his quest for gold.
Gaethje (24-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) snapped Rafael Fiziev’s winning streak Earlier this month at UFC 286 in London and trying to get back on the cover.
Gaethje is thinking of a rematch with Poirier to get revenge for his 2018 TKO loss to “The Diamond” in what was fight of the year.
“I think that’s the obvious choice, Dustin,” Gaethje said TMZ. “He’s sitting 2nd right now, I gave the newbies a chance and proved I’m elite and I have to fight elite fighters to fight for a belt. I think Dustin is the obvious choice. I think Dariush and Oliveira’s loser is also an option. But outside of those two, I don’t see an option.”
Sitting on the throne is lightweight Islam Makhachev (24-1 MMA, 13-1 UFC), whose confrontation caused major problems for the majority of his opponents. Gaethje is aware of these dangers but is confident he can injure Makhachev if they fight.
“I think it’s obviously a tough fight for everyone,” said Gaethje. “He’s the champion for a reason. Just do damage. I would have to fight the perfect fight, similar to the fight I just fought, similar to the fight I fought Tony Ferguson where I controlled the room and did damage every time they entered my room and that gives show me the space i need
“Of course a lot of grappling. I’m not getting any better at submission grappling than him right now, but the cardiovascular capacity I would need to gain to comfortably pull this fight off would be the main focus. I think I can knock him out. I think I can KO anyone with the power I have.”
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Gaethje fought Makhachev’s mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov for the title in 2020 but failed when he was submitted in round 2. But The Highlight says one major factor separates Nurmagomedov and Makhachev.
“I think they are very similar,” Gaethje added. “I think the biggest difference is that Islam is over. He lost a fight, he’s done. So that aura of invincibility is there, but it’s not 100 percent based on facts like Khabib, I think that’s the biggest factor, the biggest difference.”
Source : sports.yahoo.com