NEW YORK CITY – Justin Gaethje is convinced the UFC soon won’t deny him the next lightweight title shot.
Gaethje, the former interim 155-pound champion, believes a win over Michael Chandler at Saturday’s UFC 268 at Madison Square Garden should do the trick to put him next in line to challenge for the title.
However, Gaethje (22-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) thinks a title shot is on the line for only him and not Chandler (22-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC).
“Even if he (Chandler) wins, they probably won’t give him a title shot,” Gaethje told reporters at UFC 268 media day on Wednesday. “The only reason he got the first one was because it was perfect timing.
“But, yeah, I already said it: If I don’t get the shot, we riot. We go to war. I have to be biased when it comes to this. I’m not going to be around here for much longer, so if I were to get snubbed again then, yeah, I’d have to do something about it. Whether that’s causing ruckus.
“I have to let my manager do his job. I got the best manager in the game. We all know what’s supposed to happen if I get this win on Saturday night, so hopefully you all riot with me.”
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Gaethje is coming off a submission loss to then champion-Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2020. Prior to that, he was on a four-fight winning streak, which included a victory over Tony Ferguson for the interim belt.
Gaethje’s last defeat before coming up short against Nurmagomedov was against Dustin Poirier, who challenges champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 on Dec. 11. “The Highlight” likes either matchup if he were to get the next crack at gold, but he does hopes that Poirier gets the belt.
“I hope Poirier because I want my revenge,” Gaethje said. “That’s one of the most human traits, wanting to exact revenge on someone who has beaten you – especially in this sport since it’s not often that you get the opportunity.
“That would be a great chance, but Oliveira brings such a crazy style to the cage. I think that, for me, that would be a great matchup.”