London, U.K. – After yet another ‘Fight Of The Night’ performance in a war against Rafael Fiziev at UFC 286, Justin Gaethje is looking for a big matchup in what he’s calling his last run at a title in the UFC.
“I did what I had to do I fought someone ranked below me, and I 100% believe that I deserve to fight someone ranked in front of me. The loser of the (Charles) Oliveira and (Beneil) Dariush fight. I’d rather not fight Dariush I love that dude,” Gaethje told reporters including Cageside Press at his post-fight scrum.
“I think he’s going to beat Oliveria. I fought like a complete idiot when I fought Oliveira so I would love to have that fight back, but Dustin (Poirier) is just as good as an option.”
Gaethje (24-4) has only lost to champions or former champions in the UFC. A rematch with one of them, outside of the retired Khabib Nurmagomedov, seems to make sense for the former title challenger.
Maybe even the current lightweight champion Islam Makhachev who just recently defended the belt at UFC 284 against Alexander Volkanovski.
“I think he’s similar to Khabib, but he’s not Khabib. I know that for a fact. For one he’s got finished before, he has a loss, but it’ll be a really hard f*cking fight,” he said.
The fight with Fiziev was so close that the judges went with a majority decision for Gaethje after a bloody 5-round war.
“He’s impressive. It was impressive, but I fought such a good fight. His body kicks weren’t effective. I blocked a lot of those shots with my elbows. My elbows are really swollen right now,” he said.
“The damage that I was able to…he wanted to taste blood. He wanted to taste my blood but unfortunately (for him) he was drowning in his blood. I’m happy about that.”
In his post-fight interview Gaethje mentioned that he doesn’t expect to be fighting much longer after one last title run in the UFC which begs the question of how much longer he actually expects to fight.
“It’s not been in my mind. It’s just fact of the matter. I’m 34-years-old. I’m going to take the fights that I need to take to get to the position that I want to be. There’s countless examples of reasons not to go longer than you should in this sport,” said Gaethje.
“Yeah I’ll probably refuse to do that.”
Watch the entire post-fight scrum with Justin Gaethje above.