Former interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, who faces a potential challenger fight with Dustin Poirier this week, doesn’t see Islam Makhachev as the unstoppable force Khabib Nurmagomedov used to be.
“Based on the facts, we saw his fight with Volkanovski, and it was very close,” the American said in an interview with Shak MMA. “I never fought him, Poirier never fought him. Volkanovski has been his biggest challenge so far and I look forward to sharing the octagon with Islam. I know as a fact that Makhachev is not Khabib and I’m going to go out there and prove it.”
Commenting on the organization of the fight between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira, who will headline UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi on October 21, Gaethje admits that he could not have returned to the octagon so quickly after the fight with Poirier and challenged the reigning UFC lightweight champion.
“I would say it was zero probability. The UFC will not protect you, you have to do it yourself – this is the principle of this game. You need to take breaks between fights, because these are not only fights in themselves, but also training camps that we go through. I just went through 12 weeks of training – extremely hard, six days a week, and in such conditions, your body is practically broken. After this, you need to recover well, not only physically, but also psychologically. ”
Recall that the battle of the American lightweights, in which the vacant BMF title will be played, will head the UFC 291 tournament in Salt Lake City on July 29.