Justin Gaethje’s manager Ali Abdelaziz has revealed what could be next for the UFC lightweight star.
Gaethje, 32, hasn’t fought since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov back at UFC 254. The fight was billed as being the biggest of Justin’s career but in the end, he couldn’t overcome ‘The Eagle’ and lost via submission.
When will Justin Gaethje be back?
Fans have subsequently spent the last six months wondering what will be next for Gaethje. Some believe he should’ve been put into another UFC lightweight title shot after Khabib retired, whereas others wanted him to win another bout so he could really earn it.
During an interview with MMA Junkie, his manager Abdelaziz shed some light on the situation.
“I don’t think it’s business [issues] right now,” Abdelaziz said. “I think I just have to get the right fight. I see a lot of people calling him out. You can’t just be away from the lightweight division for six years and come back and try to fight the No. 2 guy. You have to earn it.”
“Listen, Justin was supposed to fight Michael Chandler,” Abdelaziz said. “That was the talk. We found out Chandler [was] fighting Oliveira, and I get it. The UFC wants a champion who never lost to Khabib [Nurmagomedov]. If a guy who lost to Khabib becomes the champion – you need more time to make people forget about Khabib, right? They made the move, and I get it.”
Chandler and Oliveira will fight for the 155-pound belt at UFC 262 next month.
“It was never 100 percent he was fighting Mike Chandler, but it was mentioned,” Abdelaziz revealed.
“It was mentioned [Conor] McGregor, too. I know Conor would never fight Justin because I think Justin stylistically is the worst matchup. I truly believe Justin Gaethje will be the UFC champion.”
Regardless of who he fights next, ‘The Highlight’ is almost guaranteed to produce fireworks.
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