Home MMA NewsLatest News Morning Brief: Justin Gaethje Holding Out for a Shot at Lightweight Championship, Questions ‘What More Must I Do?’

Morning Brief: Justin Gaethje Holding Out for a Shot at Lightweight Championship, Questions ‘What More Must I Do?’

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Justin Gaethje

Justin Gaethje is convinced that he’s deserving of another chance at the UFC lightweight title, making it his third attempt to secure the elusive gold.

Just this past weekend at UFC 294, the current lightweight champ, Islam Makhachev, defended his title for the second time, making quick work of featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski with a devastating combo of a head kick and a flurry of punches. Now, it appears that Makhachev is gearing up for a rematch with his original opponent for the event, ex-champion Charles Oliveira.

Over the course of the summer, the lightweight division has been like a game of musical chairs. Oliveira solidified his standing with a resounding win over fellow top contender Beneil Dariush. Then, in July, Gaethje squared off against Dustin Poirier for a second time, this time vying for the BMF title. Gaethje managed to level the playing field by avenging his previous loss to Poirier in April 2018, delivering a head kick that ended their bout in the second round. This victory put Gaethje back on the winners’ list, adding to his majority decision win over Rafael Fiziev in March. But even with this win, Gaethje knows he’ll likely have to stand in line behind Oliveira for a shot at the title, and he’s okay with that.

“What opponent is left for me?” Gaethje questioned during an ESPN interview. “I’ve done what’s required. I’m really not sure what else is left for me to prove. If they want to throw Oliveira into the mix, then we can dance in September or even next October. I’m perfectly fine biding my time. As I age, I realize I’ll just be gaining more strength, honing my skills, and improving my stamina. So, give me all the time you want; I’ll only come back stronger.”

Interestingly, Max Holloway, the former featherweight champion, has voiced interest in facing Gaethje, an idea fans would love. But Gaethje, age 34, politely declined, and for a very gentlemanly reason.

“I’ve already defeated Chandler, so he’s out. As for Holloway, I’d rather not fight him. I like the guy. Never met him, but I’m a fan. I don’t really fancy the idea of punching him, but if I have to, I’ll do it,” Gaethje explained.

In a way, a showdown between Gaethje and Makhachev would bring things full circle. Gaethje had his first shot at the UFC title back in October 2020 against the then-undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov. Khabib defeated Gaethje with a second-round triangle choke before retiring undefeated, leaving Gaethje without a chance for redemption. Given that Makhachev is a student and teammate of Khabib, this could be Gaethje’s way to close that chapter.

“Seems like he’s mimicking my style,” Gaethje said about Makhachev’s head kick win over Volkanovski. “Clearly, he’s keeping tabs on me. Before the fight, I said he was no Khabib. But hey, maybe I’ll just have to get in there and figure it out firsthand.”

Top Stories of the Day

  • Fireworks Ahead: John Fury calls out Mike Tyson during a tumultuous Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou press event.

  • Sponsorship Drama: Dana White counters critics accusing UFC of ‘selling out’ after partnering with Bud Light.

  • Critical View: Paulo Costa disses Khamzat Chimaev’s UFC 294 performance, claiming it diminished his stature.

  • Hot Takes: Daniel Cormier argues that Islam Makhachev vs. Conor McGregor should be next, to which Ryan Clark responds, “That’s the dumbest idea you’ve ever had.”

  • BKB Returns: Ken Shamrock confident that Valor Bare Knuckle will make a comeback post-COVID.

  • Boxing Dreams: Jorge Masvidal eyes a boxing debut in early 2024.

  • Warning Issued: Devin Haney cautions Sean O’Malley against switching to boxing, stating it won’t be a fair fight.


For the fans and for the sport, almost any fight featuring Gaethje is a good one. But even if Oliveira gets the next title shot, Gaethje shouldn’t be far behind. Either way, whoever faces Makhachev is guaranteed to put on a show. Have a great and safe weekend, you combat sports junkies!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Justin Gaethje

Q: Is Justin Gaethje getting a third shot at the UFC lightweight title?

A: Yes, Justin Gaethje believes he’s earned his third opportunity to compete for the UFC lightweight title, despite having to wait behind Charles Oliveira for another shot.

Q: Who did Islam Makhachev recently defend his lightweight title against?

A: Islam Makhachev successfully defended his title by defeating featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 294 with a first-round head kick and punches combination.

Q: Why did Justin Gaethje decline a fight with Max Holloway?

A: Justin Gaethje declined a fight with Max Holloway because he likes Holloway too much and doesn’t want to punch him, even though it would be a fan-favorite matchup.

Q: What are some other highlights in the world of MMA and combat sports mentioned in the Morning Brief?

A: The Morning Brief covers a range of topics, including fiery press events, sponsorship drama, hot takes from experts, and updates on various fighters and upcoming events in MMA and combat sports.

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FightGameExpert October 27, 2023 - 5:19 pm

yea, makhachev vs volkanovski was craaaazy! love the mornin briefs

CombatSportAddict October 28, 2023 - 2:47 am

MMAFightin’s got all the news i need, they keep me updated, thanks!

MMAFanatic23 October 28, 2023 - 9:43 am

justin gaethje man he deservs that title shot hes been fightin his heart out


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