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Justin Gaethje's Patient Pursuit of UFC Gold

Justin Gaethje, fresh off a "BMF" title win with a head-kick knockout of Dustin Poirier at UFC 291, is willing to bide his time, exclusively eyeing a UFC lightweight title shot.

Gaethje's recent victories, which include back-to-back wins over Rafael Fiziev, have propelled him into the lightweight title conversation. However, the current champion, Islam Makhachev, further solidified his reign by knocking out Alexander Volkanovski with a first-round head kick at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi.

If the UFC decides to reschedule the initially planned Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira rematch, Gaethje is content to wait for his opportunity to vie for the belt.

"If they want to put Oliveira in there, then I fight (the winner) in September," Gaethje stated during a conversation with ESPN. "Who do I fight? There’s no one. I did what I had to do. I went back, I fought No. 7, fought No. 2, I don’t know what else I need to do. I’ll definitely wait. I have no issues waiting. As I get older, I get to understand from now until the time I fight him, I’m going to be building strength, working on my cardio, and refining my skills. So, I’ll take as much time as they give me, and I’ll be that much more ready."

One name that has been floated as a potential opponent for Gaethje is Conor McGregor, but Gaethje is dismissive of the idea. When asked about potential challengers for his "BMF" title, he suggested Max Holloway but explained his reluctance to face the former featherweight champion.

"I don't ever want to fight Holloway," Gaethje admitted. "I don't know, I just don't ever – I don't want to punch him. I just don't. It's not necessary. ... I like him too much. I like him. He's a good dude. I don't know him personally, but I'm a fan of his. I don't prefer to punch him. But if I have to, I would I guess."

Gaethje's commitment to his quest for a UFC lightweight title shot demonstrates his unwavering focus on achieving his championship dreams, even if it means waiting patiently for his turn in the spotlight. In the ever-evolving landscape of the UFC, opportunities arise when least expected, and Gaethje is determined to seize his moment when it arrives.


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