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My striking needs to be ‘way better’ or ‘I’m f—d’ - Gaethje gives honest take on Oliveira fight

Justin Gaethje gives a candid assessment on a potential title fight with Charles Oliveira.

Justin Gaethje lands a clean uppercut on Michael Chandler at UFC 268.
Justin Gaethje lands a clean uppercut on Michael Chandler at UFC 268.
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Outside of the usual fighter bravado, Justin Gaethje has been known for giving honest interviews. He’s spoken about not being able to beat Khabib Nurmagomedov “no matter what he did,” and his hesitancy to take a five-rounder against Michael Chandler or a fight against his “favorite fighter” Max Holloway.

“The Highlight” recently spoke with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto where he touched on a potential title fight against reigning 155-pound champion Charles Oliveira. Here, he also gave a candid take on his chances against “Do Bronx.”

“At the end of the day, if my striking isn’t way better than his, then I’m f—ked, per se. That’s where I’m great,” said Gaethje. “I’m great at creating pressure, creating damage, and stopping takedowns. So ultimately, he’s going to be trying to get it to the ground because I’m gonna find so much success in the striking department.

“He is incredibly dangerous in the striking department. His knees, his elbows. His ability to create pressure, control distance, second to none. But I better be better. Or else I’m gonna be in a f—ng world of trouble.”

Nothing has been finalized yet, but according to UFC president Dana White, it “makes sense” to have Gaethje as the next challenger for Oliveira. The former interim champion is coming off a decision win over Michael Chandler at UFC 268.