Justin Gaethje vows to ‘put a hole’ in Charles Oliveira’s face at UFC 274

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Former interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje (Getty Images)
Former interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje (Getty Images)

Justin Gaethje has predicted that he will “punch a hole” in Charles Oliveira’s face in the main event of UFC 274 this weekend.

Gaethje challenges lightweight champion Oliveira on Saturday night, in what will be the American’s second shot at the gold.

Gaethje previously held the interim title but failed to unify the belts against Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2020, with the Russian submitting the American – moments before retiring from mixed martial arts.

Gaethje is confident in his chances this weekend, however, and has said that he will look to bring out the old Oliveira – a fighter who Gaethje believes used to “quit” when things got tough.

“I wasn’t being overly critical,” Gaethje told ESPN. “I was saying that in the times that he’s lost, he didn’t even get knocked out, he quit sometimes.

“The choice to quit is something one makes. And once you make it, you can make it again, because you know that it’s there. I don’t believe I’ve ever made that choice. Some people haven’t and I believe some people have... I believe that he has, and that’s all I was saying.

“I believe, deep down, he knows his way out – and that’s to quit whenever he gets hit too many times too hard.”

Charles Oliveira has the most finishes and submissions wins in UFC history (Getty Images)
Charles Oliveira has the most finishes and submissions wins in UFC history (Getty Images)

Oliveira is on a 10-fight win streak and holds the records for the most finishes and submission wins in UFC history.

The Brazilian won the vacant lightweight title last May following Khabib’s retirement, knocking out Michael Chandler to claim the gold, before submitting Dustin Poirier in December to retain it.

“All those assessments were of a younger man [Oliveira],” Gaethje said, elaborating on his prior comments. “He’s [32] years old, he’s a man now with confidence.

“A man with confidence is a dangerous man and he’s not the same man that I was referencing. But again: Deep down, once it happened once, it will happen again. And I’m the perfect guy to show it to him, and I will show it to him 7 May.

“I’ve got to stay out of grappling positions obviously, but I’m going to put a hole right in his face and it’s going to be glorious,” said Gaethje, who has wrestling pedrigree but favours striking match-ups where he can utilise his power.

Oliveira, meanwhile, is predominantly known for his submission threat, though he has sharpened his striking skills significantly in recent years.

UFC 274 will take place at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona – Gaethje’s home state.