Justin Gaethje believes the only way lightweight champion Charles Oliveira can defeat him in the UFC 274 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, which takes place this Sat. night (May 7, 2022) inside Footprint Center in Phoenix, Ariz., is if “Do Bronx” musters up the resolve to “walk through hell” like former 155-pound titleholder Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Gaethje fell to Nurmagomedov by way of second-round triangle choke at UFC 254.
“I’m going to be perfect, and I’ll be perfect for 25 minutes,” Gaethje told ESPN. “If he can beat me, then kudos to him. But he’s going to have to walk through hell like Khabib did. He’s not as powerful, he doesn’t have the structure, he doesn’t have the frame, and he doesn’t have explosive takedowns.”
Lightweight veteran Nate Diaz was not impressed.
“Bruh got triangle choked from mount,” Diaz wrote on Instagram. “What he talkin’ bout?”
That didn’t sit well with Gaethje, 33, who was quick to respond on Twitter.
“I ain’t your bruh you jealous bitch.”
Gaethje (23-3), currently tied with longtime rival Dustin Poirier for the top spot at 155 pounds, has won five of his last six and recently outpointed fellow action fighter Michael Chandler on the UFC 268 main card last November in New York.
Diaz (20-13), meanwhile, has only competed once over the last two and a half years and seems content to spend the twilight of his career floundering at welterweight. His last appearance ended in a lopsided decision loss to Leon Edwards at UFC 263.
As of this writing, the 37 year-old Diaz remains unranked in either division.