“The Highlight” vs. “Do Bronx”? Likely so, if you believe Dana White.
In a fan Q&A hosted by Laura Sanko on ESPN+, the UFC president was asked about what’s next for Justin Gaethje after his title fight defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov. His answer was short but certainly one that could have fans salivating.
“If everything goes right, it will probably be [Charles] Oliveira,” White said.
Gaethje (22-3) won the interim lightweight belt last May with a one-sided TKO stoppage of Tony Ferguson at UFC 249. That victory set him up for a highly anticipated UFC 254 showdown with Khabib Nurmagomedov, but he proved to be not even remotely competitive on the ground and was submitted by the champ in round two.
Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC) has won eight in a row, most recently dominating Tony Ferguson by unanimous decision at UFC 256. The Brazilian has been with the UFC since 2010, and he has clearly hit his stride over the past over the past couple of years. Known for his incredible ground game, Oliveira holds the UFC record for most submission wins (14) in the promotion’s history.
The UFC lightweight title picture remains a bit murky with Khabib Nurmagomedov announcing his retirement yet not officially relinquishing his title. In the meantime, Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier are rematching on January 23rd at UFC 257, Dan Hooker vs. Michael Chandler is set for that same event, and now we could get Gaethje vs. Oliveira.