Manager Ali Abdelaziz believes Justin Gaethje has earned the right to challenge for the UFC Lightweight Championship.
Abdelaziz represents both Gaethje and reigning UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev. On October 21, Makhachev will put his 155-pound gold on the line against Charles Oliveira in a rematch. The bout will headline UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi. If Makhachev is victorious, it could open the door for either a rematch with reigning UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, or a showdown with Gaethje.
Ali Abdelaziz Convinced Justin Gaethje Receives Title Shot After UFC 294
During an interview with “The Schmo,” Ali Abdelaziz shared his belief that Justin Gaethje will be next in line for a shot at the UFC lightweight gold.
“This is what we want, this is what the UFC wants,” Abdelaziz said. “Justin Gaethje earned it, too. You don’t go out there and knock out Dustin Poirier like that, you don’t get a title shot. I think Justin make a statement and he earned his spot.”
If Gaethje is indeed waiting in the wings for another title shot, he’ll either be fighting an opponent he’s never shared the Octagon with, or he’ll be looking for revenge. Gaethje and Makhachev have never fought each other, but “The Highlight” did collide with Oliveira back in May 2022. It was “do Bronx” who won that fight via first-round submission.
Gaethje has gone 3-2 in his last five outings, with two of those losses being UFC title fights. In the loss to Oliveira, the title was only on the line for Gaethje, as “do Bronx” barely missed the weight limit for a lightweight championship bout.
If “The Highlight” is able to get another UFC title shot, it’ll be crucial for Gaethje’s career. He once held the interim UFC lightweight title, but he has never captured the undisputed hardware. Could a third attempt be the charm?
Here is the full Ali Abdelaziz interview from “The Schmo:”