Justin Gaethje picked up another huge win last night (Sat., March 30, 2019) after knocking out Edson Barboza in the main event of UFC on ESPN 2 inside Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA (see it again here).
The violent finish is just further proof that “The Highlight” is a bad matchup for anyone, Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov included. Speaking to reporters after his win in the “City of Brotherly Love,” Justin says he’s ready to take on any and all comers in order to get his hands on “The Eagle.”
“It doesn’t matter to me (who I fight next),” Gaethje said MMA Junkie. “They’re going to pay me a lot of money, that’s what I’m here for. I want to be the world champion. I want to fight Khabib, I think I’m one of the biggest threats to his title and that’s my goal. Whoever I have to go through.”
While Justin has made his name in the MMA world as a standup specialist with several knockouts to his name, he was an accomplished wrestler in college. Something he feels will give Nurmagomedov fits.
“My ability to stop takedowns (would make me a bad matchup),” Gaethje said. “I am a Division 1 wrestler. I was a Division 1 All-American, I placed seventh in 2010 and my ability to scramble and avoid takedowns is something he’s never faced. And the power. He’s faced the power, but never with the ability to stop takedowns and scramble. The combination of the two.”
UFC president Dana White has already confirmed “The Eagle” will make his much-anticipated return to action in September, which means Gaethje has plenty of time to keep plucking away at the division in order to punch his ticket to the big dance.
“I want to fight for the title so I don’t know,” Gaethje said. “I don’t know what I have to do. I’m going to put my energy into preparation to do that to every single person I face inside the octagon across from me that’s trying to take everything that I’ve ever worked for.”
There are several notable opponents left for Justin to face, including Al Iaquinta and Donald Cerrone, who just so happen to headline the upcoming UFC Fight Night 150 on May 4, 2019. If you ask me, the winner of the fight facing “The Highlight” next sounds very appetizing. There’s always these other two guys, as well.
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