Justin Gaethje doesn’t see that championship mettle in Charles Oliveira ... with or without gold around his waist.
Gaethje is preparing to out-perform Oliveira against their shared opponent, Michael Chandler, at UFC 268, which will take place inside Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., on Nov. 6, 2021, streaming online via ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV).
“I’m not high on Oliveira yet, and I get a lot of s—t for it,” Gaethje told UFC Unfiltered (h/t MMA Fighting). “He fought eight [wins] in a row, but at the end of the day, Tony Ferguson was the best win on that streak by far, and it was after I put him through 24 minutes and 15 seconds of f—king straight hell. And I didn’t break [Ferguson], he’s not done — that dude is special kind of dude so he’ll never be broken — but there’s a certain way to fight that man, and I showed you how to do it. So that win isn’t as great as it was — and it wasn’t as great as when I beat him, when he was on his 12-fight win streak. After that, it’s not as great, and that’s just what I think.
“I’m in a great position, I don’t have to win eight in a row,” he continued. “I’ve got to win one in a row. So if he wins, I would love to fight Charles Oliveira, because I will show you what I’m saying. He’s a quitter. He is a quitter. He showed it to you in the Michael Chandler fight. At the end of the first round, he was not looking good, he didn’t want to be there. He doesn’t want to be there when it gets nasty. That’s just what I think, that’s my opinion. And Poirier is going to beat him up.”
Gaethje is not impressed with Oliveira’s overall body of work despite his championship status.
“Great fights, but not championship caliber contender fights,” Gaethje said. “That just is what it is. Hey, he’s got the belt, he can tell me to shove it. That’s what I would be saying, exactly what he said — I would tell me to shove it up my ass and go win eight in a row.”
Oliveira bounced back from a tough first round that nearly saw him get finished, turning the tables (watch highlights) and earning a second-round technical knockout at UFC 262 back in May. Oliveira is expected to defend his UFC Lightweight title against Dustin Poirier at UFC 269.
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