Justin Gaethje Wants Rematch with Dustin Poirier Next: ‘I Think That’s the Obvious Fight’

Justin Gaethje believes a potential title eliminator against Dustin Poirier makes the most sense for both of them

Justin Gaethje
Courtesy of @UFC on Twitter

Justin Gaethje believes a long-awaited rematch with Dustin Poirier is the fight that makes the most sense.

‘The Highlight’ is coming off a majority decision victory over Rafael Fiziev in the co-main event of UFC 286 earlier this month. The victory kept Gaethje locked into the No. 3 spot in the lightweight rankings and likely puts him one win away from another UFC title opportunity. 

If Gaethje gets his way, that potential title eliminator will come against another heavy-hitting lightweight star, Dustin Poirier. 

“I haven’t started conversations. They’re so busy after these fights. You know, onto the next week, onto the next week. The show always goes on, but I think the obvious fight is [Dustin] Poirier,” Gaethje told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. I’m not sure when, but yeah, I think that’s the obvious fight with [Charles] Oliveira fighting [Beneil] Dariush coming up. The winner fighting [Islam] Makhachev towards the end of the year. I think I’m either gonna fight Poirier or the loser of Oliviera and Dariush. I think those are the only two fights that are out there for me.”

Justin Gaethje Believes a Win Over Dustin Poirier Will Lead to ‘Big Title Discussions’

Asked about the possibility of fighting ‘The Diamond’ later this year, Justin Gaethje shared excitement over the idea, suggesting that he’s ready to get back to fighting some of the division’s most tenured athletes after spending some time against the division’s newer faces like Michael Chandler and Rafael Fiziev. 

“It’s exciting. I’m a much different, more mature fighter, as is he,” Gaethje continued. “I think we’re truly two of the best in the world. Neither of us have a fined lined so like you said, it’s a no-brainer. It leads to big title discussions. I gave the new guard… The new guys a chance. They proved that they can’t crack it yet. With the experience, at the end of the day it comes down to their ability to fight a smart fight and not get too tired.

“That’s what people like me, Dustin, Charles, Dariush. We have the ability to fight three rounds without getting exhausted. And sometimes into the fifth round, we’re gonna be exhausted, but we’re still going to be making good decisions. Guys like [Michael] Chandler and [Rafael] Fiziev at this point, Chandler never and Fiziev not yet can’t fight that fight yet. And that just is what it is.”

As for a timeline, Gaethje is fairly open, suggesting late summer or fall. However, ‘The Highlight’ was quite adamant about avoiding a trip to Abu Dhabi in October if at all possible. 

“If it happens anytime August, September, October. November. December. All those line up with his next opportunity, but ideally before October or in October. I don’t want to go to Abu Dhabi. I do not prefer it, but you know, not gonna miss an opportunity because I don’t want to go to a different time zone.”

Published on March 29, 2023 at 8:31 pm
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