Justin Gaethje can see a route to victory for Islam Makhachev at UFC 280, but doesn’t believe it will be a dominant by any means.
Makhachev challenges former champion Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight title in the UFC 280 headliner taking place October 22 in Abu Dhabi.
Makhachev is notably a huge betting favorite despite Oliveira being on an 11-fight winning streak.
Many observers also believe Makhachev will enjoy a dominant win similar to all his other recent outings. Makhachev certainly believes so as well.
Not Gaethje, however.
“The Highlight” is stablemates with Makhachev and knows what it’s like to lose to Oliveira. His assessment?
Makhachev can win, but it will not be dominant nor will it be a submission victory.
“I’m 100 percent confident that Islam will not dominate Charles, and that’s about it,” Gaethje told MMA Junkie. “I think Charles is going to move forward. Islam is going to try, and eventually he might be successful, and if he is, he’ll win. But I don’t see him tiring him out.
“Even if he takes him down for the first two rounds, I don’t see Charles getting submitted, and I don’t see him being too exhausted to continue to fight the fight that he needs to fight.”
Justin Gaethje: I Felt Something Different Against Charles Oliveira
Gaethje has been in his fair share of wars over the years.
However, the reasoning behind his statement may come from what he experienced against Oliveira in their title fight back in May.
“I think my last fight, Charles was brilliant, and he hurt me often – he hurt me early,” Gaethje said. “Ten seconds in, I was really hurt, and probably four times after that, I felt something I’ve never felt in a cage. It was just one of those fights where it was against adversity the whole time.
“It was a feeling I’ve never felt. Usually you get hit – call it a buzz, call it a flash. This is more like my tongue just went on a super powerful battery and just my entire body – it was crazy. It was perfect shots, perfect time, one or the other. It was the factors that I faced that night.”
Do you agree with Justin Gaethje?