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 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.
With his sights set on getting another chance to fight for the title, Gaethje will certainly be watching the highly anticipated matchup very closely.
“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.”
Gaethje recently teamed up with the UFC, Modelo, and Rebuilding Together for the promotion’s gym revitalization program in Denver. For the program’s second gym renovation, Topeira Boxing Club was chosen after local trainer and owner Joaquin Romero was tragically killed in a hit and run accident in February, which led to his father Oscar taking over to keep his son’s dream alive.
After having successful nose surgery over the summer, Gaethje is hoping to return to the octagon in the first quarter of 2023, and believes he could find himself in a matchup with the loser of the upcoming 155-pound title fight.
With the stakes so high and margin for error so small, Gaethje sees one potential aspect of the bout that could be the biggest key to victory for either guy.
“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.”