Strap yourselves in for this one. If all the chips fall correctly, the UFC is hoping to put together a mouth-watering lightweight matchup between former interim titleholder, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje, and streaking grappling sensation, Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira.
According to promotion president, Dana White who spoke with Laura Sanko during a live Q&A session last night, the number-one ranked contender, Gaethje is “probably” next for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu standout, Oliveira. “If everything works out, it will probably be Justin Gaethje,” White said. While the pairing isn’t set, it’s clear to see it’s a fight the promotion are hopeful of booking.
If the pairing comes to fruition, it’ll follow in the footsteps of upcoming major pairings for the promotion’s 155-pound division. With the future of current undisputed champion, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov still uncertain ahead of a sitdown with White this month, the division is set to determine a number-one contender to the title, be that eventually vacant or otherwise.
Taking main event honours at UFC 257 on January 23rd. in Abu Dhabi, UAE — former opponents, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier and ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor look to solidify their status as incoming title challenger, above a co-headlining tilt of Kiwi striking ace, Dan ‘The Hangman’ Hooker, and promotional debutante, former three-time Bellator lightweight best, Michael Chandler finally nailed down.
Hoping to secure a title challenge in the future following his triangle defeat to the above mentioned, Khabib in their UFC 253 unification clash in October last, Gaethje has stressed himself that he must be coming off a victory before any talk of another title tilt.
For Oliveira, the winner of a staggering eight on the trot, the Dhiego Lima Chute Boxe trainee passed a massive contender test at UFC 256 in December, completely outclassing former interim titleholder, Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson in a co-main event slot both on the feet and particularly on the ground. Demonstrating his incredible Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu prowess, Oliveria, the most prolific submission-artist in UFC history almost scored a buzzer-beating armbar win over the Oxnard native in the first-round, massively hyperextending Ferguson’s left arm.