Justin Gaethje is fully confident he will become UFC lightweight champion.
Gaethje challenges current champion Charles Oliveira for the 155-pound title in the UFC 274 headliner taking place next weekend.
For Gaethje, it will be his second chance at becoming a UFC champion after he was submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov in their lightweight title fight back at UFC 254 in October 2020.
And while he came up short against Nurmagomedov, it certainly wasn’t easy work for the latter who ate some big shots and leg kicks.
The same will apply for Oliveira as even if he does manage to come out on top, Gaethje believes the Brazilian will have to go through hell in order to do so.
“On May 7, at 9:30 mountain time, I’m gonna be perfect and I’ll be perfect for 25 minutes,” Gaethje told Megan Olivi in a recent interview. “If he can beat me, then kudos to him. But he’s gonna have to walk through hell like Khabib [Nurmagomedov] did. He’s not as powerful, he doesn’t have the structure, he doesn’t have the frame, and he doesn’t have explosive takedowns.
“He’s going to have find me making a mistake, overreaching, and try to get into a grappling situation. Outside that, he better be praying everyday that he gets me to the ground. If not, it’s going to be the same night as [Michael] Chandler, except five rounds. If I went five rounds with Chandler, he would have died and that’s the truth. So, I’m glad we didn’t go five rounds.”
Justin Gaethje: It Will Be Amazing Fight
In Gaethje and Oliveira, we’ll be treated to a fight between two action-packed finishers.
It’s virtually guaranteed to be a classic, and while “The Highlight” couldn’t pick out what type of highlight he was planning on delivering, he knows he will put on a show.
Much like he’s done throughout his UFC career.
“I will step in there and it will be an amazing fight,” he added. “I will have an amazing performance, I know I will. Because that’s who I am — I’m a showoff, I’m a performer. That’s what I’ve been since I was a little child.”
“At the end of the day, if my striking isn’t better than [Charles Oliveira’s], then I’m f****d, per say. That’s where I’m great… He’s incredibly dangerous in the striking department… But I better be better or else I’m gonna be in a f*****g world of trouble.”
Gaethje will have a tough challenge in Oliveria at UFC 274 on May 7. “Do Bronx” hasn’t been defeated in any of his last 10 fights. It is worth mentioning that the Brazilian holds the record for most submissions in the history of the promotion, and has been practicing lethal strikes lately.
Oliveria (32-8) defeated Dustin Poirier by submission last December.
You can watch the full interview below: