Justin Gaethje says he won’t explore other options for his next fight other than a UFC lightweight title shot.
Gaethje (25-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC) is coming off back-to-back wins over Rafael Fiziev, and most recently a head-kick knockout of Dustin Poirier to claim the “BMF” title at UFC 291.
Lightweight champion Islam Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) knocked out Alexander Volkanovski with a first-round head kick to retain his title in this past Saturday’s UFC 294 main event at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. If the UFC opts to rebook the originally scheduled Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira rematch, Gaethje is happy to wait his turn.
“If they want to put Oliveira in there, then I fight (the winner) in September,” Gaethje told ESPN. “Who do I fight? There’s no one. I did what I had to do. I went back, I fought No. 7, fought No. 2, I don’t know what else I need to do. I’ll definitely wait. I have no issues waiting.
“Again, as I get older, I get to understand from now until the time I fight him I’m going to be building strength. I’m going to be working on my cardio. I’m going to be refining my skills. So I’ll take as much time as they give me, and I’ll be that much more ready.”
Gaethje continued to dismiss the idea of Conor McGregor. But when asked whom he could potentially defend his “BMF” title against, “The Highlight” suggested Max Holloway (25-7 MMA, 21-7 UFC) but explained why he doesn’t want to fight him.
Holloway recently called out Gaethje on social media.
“I don’t ever want to fight Holloway,” Gaethje said. “I don’t know, I just don’t ever – I don’t want to punch him. I just don’t. It’s not necessary. … I like him too much. I like him. He’s a good dude. I don’t know him personally, but I’m a fan of his. I don’t prefer to punch him. But if I have to, I would I guess.”