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Justin Gaethje ‘100% confident’ Islam Makhachev ‘will not dominate’ Charles Oliveira at UFC 280

Even before it was made official, there’s already been a lot of hype behind UFC 280’s lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev. Oliveira was stripped of the title due to a controversial weight miss at UFC 274. The gold didn’t return to Oliveira with a win over Gaethje instead he became a contender for the title fight.

During a backstage scrum at UFC 278, Former interim champion Justin Gaethje was asked to give his verdict about the UFC 280 headliner. Gaethje didn’t pick a side, but he believes it cannot be anticipated due to some factors that can change the result.

"Fighting is so exciting. Chance, skill, anything can happen at any moment. And that's why we are such big fans. So those fights need to play out, you know, I have no idea how they're gonna go.’’

“I’m 100 percent confident that Islam will not dominate Charles, and that’s about it,” Gaethje told. “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 has just undergone a successful nose surgery following his first-round loss at UFC 274. ‘’The Highlight’’ was dropped and choked out by Charles Oliveira in his last meeting. So, being aware of how dangerous Oliveira is, Gaethje expects a hard-fought battle.

“My last fight, Charles was brilliant. And he hurt me often, he hurt me early. Ten seconds in, I was really hurt, and probably four times after that. I felt something I never felt in the cage,” he said. “It’s just one of those fights where I was against adversity the whole time.

“It’s a feeling I’ve never felt. Usually, you get hit, you call it a buzz, call it a flash. This is more like my tongue just went on a super powerful battery and it just… my entire body was crazy.

“It was perfect shots, perfect time, one or the other. And it was factors that I faced that night.”

In the same scrum, Gaethje also predicted a fourth-round knockout win for teammate Kamaru Usman against Leon Edwards. We all know how that turned out. Leon Edwards proved Justin Gaethje and the whole world wrong who doubted him. He landed a vicious head kick which sent the former pound-for-pound king Kamaru Usman to the shadow realm. Nonetheless, Islam Makhachev has dominated in each of his fights and is highly rated for his excellent ground game. Islam is currently on a 10-fight win streak which led him to have a taste of what he deserves. As he steps up for the title fight, Khabib Nurmagomedov expects nothing less than a dominant performance from his close comrade.


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