Entering UFC 268, former UFC interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje made one thing clear: either he gets a title shot with a win over Michael Chandler, or he riots. “The Highlight” did get the job done in three full rounds in what’s already branded by many as 2021’s Fight of the Year.
However, the UFC has yet to seal Gaethje’s fate. Company president Dana White thinks it “makes sense,” but refuses to give a definitive answer just yet. But MMA media outlets continue to play into the title shot narrative.
This particular Instagram post caught the attention of retired former undisputed lightweight champion and pound-for-pound king Khabib Nurmagomedov, who later issued a response in a rather uncharacteristic manner.
“In last 8 fight, you got finished 3 times Justin,” Khabib wrote. “You had an opportunity to become champion, but you fell asleep.
“Islam is on the 9 win streak, 3 fight in 2021 and all finishes. Just shut up and admit that Islam deserves this title shot, not you.
The number four-ranked Makhachev also ended all of his three fights in 2021 via stoppage. His biggest win happened at UFC 267 against Dan Hooker, whom he finished via submission in the first round.