Despite Justin Gaethje calling dibs to fight Islam Makhachev next, UFC CEO Dana White snubs BMF champ’s request to potentially schedule rematch with Charles Oliviera

Justin Gaethje was in attendance at UFC 294 for two reasons. One reason was to support his teammate, Kamaru Usman, who accepted a short-notice fight against Khamzat Chimaev. The second reason was to witness his potential opponent fight in the main event.

At the UFC 294 main event, Islam Makhachev showcased a stellar performance, ending his rivalry with Alexander Volkanovski. Makhachev delivered a powerful first-round head kick that forced Volkanovski to retreat to the featherweight division.

Justin Gaethje calls out Islam Makhachev

After witnessing Islam Makhachev’s astounding victory over Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 294, Justin Gaethje has set his sights on the reigning lightweight champion, hoping to claim the title for himself. Gaethje, the No. 2-ranked lightweight contender, was all praises for Makhachev. Soon after the match, Gaethje took to Twitter to acknowledge Makhachev’s impressive win. He tweeted, “I’m next.” This was followed by another tweet, “Heck of a performance by Islam. I have a mountain to climb.”

Gaethje is keen on securing the title shot, even if it means surpassing another lightweight contender. However, Volkanovski only made it to the fight card for Oct. 21 in Abu Dhabi due to an unexpected twist. Charles Oliveira, Makhachev’s original opponent, suffered an injury during a training session, which resulted in a last-minute pullout.

Despite Oliveira’s previous victory over Gaethje at UFC 274, he might consider stepping aside for Gaethje if UFC agrees to this high-stakes match. The forthcoming decisions will surely keep the MMA community on the edge of their seats, awaiting the next big announcement.

Dana White aims to book Islam vs Oliviera II

Originally, Gaethje was slated for a title shot. However, due to an unexpected change when Charles Oliveira had to bow out from the main event due to an injury, Gaethje’s guaranteed shot became uncertain.

Addressing the matter, UFC CEO Dana White mentioned in a post-fight press conference that Oliveira might be next in line. Still, he also emphasized that a final decision regarding Makhachev’s future opponent hasn’t been made.

Justin Gaethje vs Charles Oliveira
Image via CGTN

In an interview with ESPN MMA, Gaethje, displaying confidence in his abilities and recent accomplishments, stated that his knockout win over Dustin Poirier in July should establish his position as the top contender. He pointed out that Makhachev had previously defeated Oliveira with relative ease in 2022.

Gaethje’s recent achievements also feature a notable victory against Rafael Fiziev. On the other side, Oliveira secured a significant win over Beneil Dariush, positioning himself for a potential rematch with Makhachev.

Who do you think the UFC will grant a title shot next? Justin Gaethje or Charles Oliveira?


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