clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UFC on ESPN 2’s Justin Gaethje not interested in bout with Anthony Pettis

New, comments

Justin Gaethje would prefer to fight Dustin Poirier over Anthony Pettis.

One of the names that cropped up after Anthony Pettis’ stunning knockout of Stephen Thompson at UFC Fight Night 148 was Justin Gaethje.

Gaethje, the former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion, is making final preparations for his headlining bout against striking dynamo Edson Barboza at UFC on ESPN 2, which takes place this Saturday in Philadelphia.

And, while Gaethje respects Pettis as a fighter, ‘The Highlight’ has no interest in taking up the former WEC and UFC lightweight champ on his offer.

Speaking to MMA Junkie in a recent interview, Gaethje said he is more interested in avenging his loss to Dustin Poirier, who knocked him out last year at UFC on FOX 29.

“As much as I respect Pettis, I won’t be looking for that fight after I win here,” Gaethje said ahead of his lightweight tilt against Barboza. “I want that fight back (with Poirier). I have to have that fight back.”

The 30-year-old knockout artist has also given up on Al Iaquinta, who meets Donald Cerrone later this year in the UFC Fight Night 150 main event at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ontario, Canada.

“Al’s a (expletive), so I’m done with him,” he said. “He’s a (expletive), man. I’ve tried to fight him so many times. He’s signed up and backed out, and I’ll put no more effort into him until he’s the only shot to my title.

“I think he’s smart,” Gaethje continued. “It’s not a fight you necessarily want. You have to go through hell to beat me. I got Poirier’s quad ripped. I’ve tore plenty of people’s MCLs, ACLs with my kicks. Those are not things you want to go through, especially when you get a win.”

UFC on ESPN 2: Gaethje vs. Barboza takes place this Saturday, March 30 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.