With four of the top 5 lightweights booked, who should Justin Gaethje fight next? He is currently ranked second in the division, and his last loss was against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the title. He is still a top contender that could possibly be the next champion.
Unfortunately, he has to wait a bit since the UFC just booked Charles Oliveira vs Michael Chandler for the vacant belt. So the question lies, should he wait it out or fight a lower ranked opponent? Some fans think that the winner of Oliveira vs Chandler will fight the winner of Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor trilogy.
During Gaethje’s rise, he suffered two brutal losses against Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier since he had a style where he would rather go to war rather than fight technical. Now his style is completely different where he now picks his shots and not charge in, he uses his counter-striking well and led to him finishing all his fights.
He was also the fighter that snapped Tony Ferguson’s win streak and sadly stopped the Khabib vs Ferguson fantasy match (RIP). He then fell short against Khabib Nurmagomedov but he hit him with great shots.
In the fight, Khabib revealed that Gaethje hurt him clean but it just failed to stun him. It also revealed that even though Gaethje has great wrestling, his ground game sucked. Khabib transitioned pretty fast in the BJJ department that submitted him twice in the fight. It might mean his ground game needs work or simply Khabib is just that good.
After suffering the disappointing loss, Gaethje is surely working on his ground game. One good thing for Gaethje is that if Khabib is retired, the current top 5 consists of mainly high level strikers and Gaethje prefers that. He would put on relentless pressure or he would hit you with his dynamite hands. His leg kick is also one of the best in the division.
So who is available for Gaethje to fight? He could fight the Beneil Dariush if he gets past Ferguson? Or he could face Rafael Dos Anjos, a former lightweight champion and is coming off a win against Paul Felder.
Guess who’s the highest ranking available? I’m on it. Send me the contract. https://t.co/yT3CC9wHGo
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) April 3, 2021
Speaking of which, RDA wants the fight. It will be a massive fight for both fighters and don’t sleep on RDA, he was the best lightweight at one point and probably the most well-rounded fighter in the division.