Justin Gaethje doesn’t see UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira as dangerous of a threat as Khabib Nurmagomedov was.
Justin Gaethje will make Oliveira quit
Gaethje is set to challenge Oliveira for the UFC lightweight title in the main event of this weekend’s UFC 274 pay-per-view (PPV) from the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. This will be Gaethje’s second attempt at winning undisputed UFC gold. His first go around was an unsuccessful challenge against then-champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in October of 2020.
Now, Gaethje will take on Oliveira, a much different challenge, but according to “The Highlight,” not nearly as dangerous as Nurmagomedov.
“They’re definitely not the same athlete and Charles is definitely not more dangerous than Khabib,” Gaethje said during a recent pre-fight press conference. “His ability to take damage is not the same, proven through the times we’ve seen him fight.”
Gaethje then went on to say that Oliveira’s past performances, before making his championship run, shows that he has some quit in him. With that being said, Gaethje vows to give Oliveira that option inside the Octagon this weekend, and he thinks he’ll take it.
“You know all my criticism of Charles is from a kid that we’re talking about, that we all watched grow, and now we’re talking about a man with confidence. It’s a different person, but ultimately, the same Charles is still there.
“Same Charles that fought Cub Swanson, the same Charles that fought Donald Cerrone, the same Charles that fought RDA, Pettis – choices were made in that by him. And the choice to quit was made. And I’m going to give him that choice Saturday night, I guarantee that.”
“Once a coward always a coward.”
Some may argue that Oliveira has overcome those past adversities, leading to his phenomenal run to becoming lightweight champion. However, Gaethje believes differently. Gaethje believes that kind of quit doesn’t just leave a person, and he’s going to try and bring the quit back out of Oliveira this weekend.
“That’s fine. I think that’s true. However, once a coward always a coward. I’m not calling him a coward, but I’m saying that’s – you can’t just take that away. It’s there. Khabib never showed you that, and that’s why you can’t compare those two.”